Acid: a corrosive substance that releases protons in water. By definition, all acids measures less than 7 on the pH scale
Algae: a large and varied group of single cell organisms that carry out photosynthesis and do not have specialized tissue structure. The cell contains a nucleus in which genetic material is stored.
Allah: The name of God of all Muslims and Christians in the Middle East.
Amino acid: an organic compound consisting of standard nine-atom section and a distinctive atomic side chain. Certain kinds of amino acids are the building blocks of proteins.
Amphibian: a cold-blooded vertebrate animal adapted to both water and land. Baby amphibians remain in water and adults live in land.
Annihilation: the disappearance of a particle and matching antiparticle as a result of their collision. The collision converts the masses into energy.
Anthropology: the study of man based on the comparative analysis of and subsequent generalization about his physical and behavioral characteristics.
Antiparticle: a particle identical in mass to a matter particle but opposite to it in properties such as electrical charge. For example, a positron is the antiparticle to an electron.
Archaeology: the study of man’s past on the basis of the tangible remains of his activity and of the surviving effects of these activities.
Asteroid: a small, rocky, airless body that orbits a star.
Astronomical unit: the average distance between the Earth and the Sun, and a unit useful in studies of the solar system. Its accepted value is 149,597,870 km.
Astronomy: the science of measuring the motion and position of stars, planets, and other astronomical bodies.
Atman: (Hindi) the sacred power of Brahman that each individual experiences within himself.
Atmosphere: a gaseous shell surrounding a planet or other body.
Atom: the smallest part of a chemical element that can take part in any chemical reaction and still retain its identity. All atoms consist of a nucleus and one or more orbiting electrons.
Avatar: In Hindu myth, the descent of a god to earth in human form. More generally used of a person who is believed to embody or incarnate the divine.
Axial Age: The term used by historians to denote the period 800-200 BC, a time of transition during which the world major religions emerged in the world.
Ayah: (plural Ayat) (Arabic) Sign, parable. In the Quran, the manifestations of God in the world, or one verse in the Quran.
Bacterium: a member of many species of microscopic single-celled organisms.
Big Bang: according to a widely accepted theory, the universe started 15 to 20 billion years ago, when the universe began expanding from a state of infinite density.
Binary star: a pair of stars in orbit around each other.
Biochemistry: the branch of chemistry that deals with the chemical processes of living organisms.
Biosphere: the totality of a planet’s living things and their habitats.
Black hole: a region of space-time in which there is such an immense concentration of material within a small volume that matter and energy cannot escape.
Blue giants: very hot highly luminous stars that radiate more intensely at short wavelength.
Brahman: (Hindi) The Hindu term for the sacred power that sustains all existing things; the inner meaning of existence.
Brown dwarf: a star with such a low mass- less than 0.08 times the mass of the Sun- that thermonuclear reactions cannot take place inside it.
Buddha: (Hindi) the enlightened one. The title applies to the numerous persons who have attained nirvana (q.v.) but it is often used of Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism.
Carbohydrate: an organic compound of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. As sugars and starches, carbohydrates are the main sources of energy for most terrestrial organisms
Carbon: A chemical compound found in all living matter on Earth and notable for its tendency to form multiple bonds.
Carnivore: a meat-eating animal or plant.
Catalyst: a chemical agent that modifies a reaction but is not itself changed.
Cell: a basic functional and structural unit of living matter. A cell is capable of growth, reproduction, and the excretion of wastes.
Comet: an asteroid-size body of dusty ice that travels in an elliptical orbit around the sun.
Constellation: a grouping of stars to form a shape or a pattern. This grouping into constellations does not imply any physical connection among them.
Cosmic background radiation: microwave radiation peaking at a wavelength of 1 mm, which is visible at the same intensity all over the sky. It is taken to be the cooled remnant of the primeval fireball of the hot Big Bang that started the universe.
Cosmic rays: atomic particles, mostly protons, of very high energy moving through space.
Cosmic string: a thin string of trapped energy left over from the earliest moments of the Big Bang, with immense mass per unit length. Cosmic strings may have acted as seeds for the formation of galaxies, clusters and superclusters.
Cosmology: the study of the universe as a whole, including its large-scale structure and movements, origin, evolution, and ultimate fate.
Cosmos: the universe; also, a mathematical or scientific model of the universe.
Chromosomes: the chainlike structure within the nucleus of the cell that carries genes.
Cytoplasm: the liquid material found in the region outside a cell’s nucleus.
Deuterium: a form of hydrogen having one neutron and one proton in its nucleus. Also known as heavy hydrogen.
Dogma: (Greek) used by the Greek Christians to describe the hidden, secret traditions of the Church, which could only be understood mystically and expressed symbolically. In the west, dogma has come to mean a body of opinion, categorically and authoritatively stated.
DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid): a complex organic compound found in all life on Earth and is responsible for the storage of genetic information. A DNA molecule consists of two parallel chains on nucleotides. DNA is named for the sugar deoxyribose, which it contains.
Doppler shift: a change in wavelength caused by the motion of either the emitter or the observer.
Double star: stars appearing as a pair because they are close to each other in the line of sight.
El: The high God of Canaan who seems also to have been the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Electron: a negatively charged particle that normally orbits the nucleus of an atom, but may exist in isolation.
Element: one of just over 100 substances that cannot be reduced by chemical means to simpler substances.
Elliptical galaxy: a galaxy, ellipsoidal in shape, composed primarily of stars with little gas and dust.
Energy: the ability to do work, where work is defined as the ability to move mass through space. Life and machines require energy.
Entropy: a measure of the energy existing in a system that is unavailable for use. A physical system exhibits increasing entropy until it reaches equilibrium. Entropy is sometimes said to be a measure of disorder.
Enuma Elish: The Babylonian epic recounting the creation of the world.
Enzyme: one of many proteins that accelerate or otherwise affect biochemical reactions without themselves being changed.
Epiphany: The appearance of a god or goddess on earth in human form.
Escape velocity: the velocity that a body must reach if it is to escape into space from a celestial body. For the Earth it is 11.18 Km/sec, while for the Sun it is 617.3 km/sec.
Eucaryote: a cell containing a nucleus in which genetic material is stored.
Evolution: according to evolutionists, changes over generations in organism’s inheritable characteristics.
Fossils: the remains of ancient forms of life preserved in the earth’s crust.
Frequency: the number of cycles per second. In electromagnetic radiation, frequency is obtained by dividing the speed of light by the wavelength. It is measured in Hertz, or simply Hz.
Galaxy: a celestial island of stars, dusts and gases.
Gene: a complete unit of biochemical information that specifies the series of amino acids needed to make up a particular type of peptide chain, which in turn form part of a protein.
General relativity: a theoretical account of the effects of acceleration and gravity on the motion of bodies and the observed structure of space and time.
Gentile: (Hebrew) One who is not Jewish.
Goy: (plural goyim) (Hebrew) Non-Jews or Gentiles.
Grand unified theory (GUT): a theory that aims to unify the four basic forces of nature, i.e. strong, weak, electromagnetic, and gravity forces. At the Big Bang, these forces were unified.
Gravity: the mutual attraction of separate masses; fundamental force in nature.
Graviton: the messenger particles of gravity in theories of quantum mechanics.
Halo: a glowing ring around a celestial body such as the Sun and Moon. The term is also used to describe material around our galaxy.
Homo Sapiens: the primate species to which human beings belong, characterized by a brain of about eighty five cubic inches and by a language and tool-making abilities.
Hubble constant: the ratio of speed of recession of galaxies to distance. At present, there is some doubt about its value, which is thought to be between 17 and 30 km/sec. per million light years.
Hydrocarbon: one of the large numbers of organic compound made up exclusively of carbon and hydrogen atoms. Seven types of hydrocarbons have been detected in space.
Idolatry: the worship of a human or man-made entity instead of the transcendent God.
Incarnation: the embodiment of God in human form.
Inertia: the resistance of a body to change velocity. The inertia of a body equals its gravitational force.
Inflation: according to theory, a sudden expansion in space that occurred 10E-35 seconds after the Big Bang.
Infrared: a band of electromagnetic radiation with a lower frequency and longer wavelength than red light. Most infrared radiation is absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere, but certain wavelength can be detected from Earth.
Inorganic: a chemical compound that does not include both carbon and hydrogen atoms. Also may refer to matter that is not and never has been alive.
Invertebrate: an organism without a backbone.
Ion: an atom that has lost or gained one or more electrons. A neutral atom has an equal number of electrons and protons, giving it a zero net electrical charge
Ionosphere: an ionized atmospheric layer. The Earth’s ionosphere occurs at altitude of 35 miles and higher.
Islam: (Arabic) Surrendering to the Will of God.
Isotope: one of two or more forms of a chemical element that have the same number of protons but a different number of neutrons in the nucleus.
Kepler’s Laws: three laws governing the orbital motion of planets. The first law which states that planets move in elliptical orbits with the Sun at one focus of the ellipse,
Kerygma: (Greek) used by the Greek Christian to denote the public teaching of the Church, which can be expressed clearly and rationally, as opposed to its dogma (q.v.), which could not.
Light year: an astronomical distance unit equal to the distance light travels in a vacuum in a year, almost six trillion miles (6,000,000,000,000 miles).
Logos: cosmic reason, used in ancient Greek philosophy, as the divine source of order and intelligibility.
Magnetosphere: the region around a planet in which its magnetic field is the dominant magnetic influence.
Mammal: a hairy, warm-blooded vertebrate animal that nurses its young. Almost all mammals bear their young alive, rather than in eggs.
Markarian galaxy: a galaxy that is bright and radiates most strongly at the blue end of the spectrum.
Membrane: a flexible structure that encloses a cell, organelles within a cell, or other tissue. A membrane consists primarily of layered protein and fats.
Metabolism: the biochemical processes that convert energy to a form useful for life.
Meteoroid: a small metallic or rocky body found in space. A meteoroid entering a planet’s atmosphere is called a meteor. Meteors often burn up in the atmosphere; those that reach the surface are called meteorites.
Milky Way: a hazy band of light crossing the entire sky in both northern and southern hemispheres. So named after its appearance, it is now known to be caused by myriad of stars as well as dust and gas. It is a spiral galaxy, and our solar system exists close to the tips of one of the arms of the spiral.
Molecule: the smallest unit of an element or compound that retains its properties. A molecule may consist of a single atom or, more commonly, two or more atoms bonded together.
Monotheism: the belief that the universe is created and governed by one God.
Moon: one of a planet’s natural satellites, generally no smaller than 10 miles in diameter. There are more than 50 known moons in the solar system.
Mutation: according to evolutionists, a random, inheritable change in the genetic pattern of an organism
Natural selection: according to evolutionists, the evolutionary process in which well adapted species survives and increase in numbers while poorly adapted species become extinct.
Nebula: a cloud of dust or gas in space. Nebulae can be dark or bright, diffuse or compact.
Neuron: a specialized cell that transmits information through electrochemical signals. Neurons are distributed throughout a body in a neural network.
Neutron: a constituent of many atomic nuclei that has no electric charge with a mass just a little greater than a proton.
Neutron star: a massive star near the end of its life. It degenerates to tightly packed neutrons.
Nirvana: (Hindi) literally "cooling off" or "going out" like a flame; extinction. Term used by Buddhists to denote the ultimate reality, the goal and the fulfillment of human life and the end of pain. It is impossible to define in rational terms but belongs to a different order of experience.
Nous: mind or reason, used in ancient Greek philosophy, as the principle of divine reason.
Nova: meaning "new", this is an aging star which suddenly flares up in brightness- perhaps by 10,000 times- and so suddenly appears in the sky. The flare up lasts for days or weeks at the most, and then sinks back to its original brightness over months or years.
Nucleic acid: one of the complex organic molecules, including DNA and RNA that store and transmit genetic information.
Nucleolus: a small body within the cell’s nucleus. Its function is not clearly understood but may be related to the synthesis of RNA.
Nucleotides: one of the chemical units that makes up a nucleic acid such as DNA or RNA. A nucleotide consists of a phosphate, a sugar, and a base, all bonded together.
Nucleus: the massive center of an atom, composed of protons and neutrons and orbited by electrons. Also, a membrane-enclosed structure within a eucaryotic cell that contains genetic material.
Open universe: a universe that expands forever.
Orbit: the path of an object revolving around an astronomical body. Also, the path of an electron around the nucleus of an atom.
Organic: pertaining to a compound made up of carbon and hydrogen and possibly other elements as well. All life contains organic compounds. The term may also refer to living or once-living material.
Ozone: a three- atom form of oxygen. Earth’s stratosphere includes an ozone layer that absorbs dangerous ultraviolet radiation.
Paleontology: the study of the life forms that exist in the past.
Peptide chain: a linear organic compound consisting of up to several hundred amino acids linked together. Proteins are composed of one or more peptide chains.
Phosphate: a type of inorganic compound. Some phosphates join to sugars and bases to form nucleotides.
Photoelectric effect: the emission of electrons by certain metals, such as selenium, when exposed to electromagnetic radiation.
Photon: the quantum particle of light and the messenger particle of electromagnetic radiation.
Photosynthesis: the biochemical process that converts light to chemical energy and glucose. Photosynthesizing organisms typically consume carbon dioxide and hydrogen and release oxygen as a by-product.
PH scale: a measure of acidity or alkalinity, with values ranging from 0, for extremely acid, to 14, for extremely alkaline. A neutral compound has pH value of 7.
Planck era: theoretically, the very brief time after the Big Bang and up to the Planck time. Conditions during the Planck era cannot be explained by the current physics.
Planck’s constant: a number whose value is important to the equations of quantum mechanics; equal to the ratio of a photon’s energy to its frequency.
Planck time: theoretically, a time equal 10E-43 second after the Big Bang, after which the universe would have followed the known physical laws.
Planet: a large, nonstellar body that orbits a star and shines only with reflected light.
Plasma: an ionized gas consisting of ions and electrons moving freely. Plasmas are affected by electric and magnetic fields, and are to be found in stars and interstellar gas.
Primate: the highest order within mammals, including apes and man.
Prokaryote: a cell without a nucleus.
Protein: one of a class of complex organic molecules necessary to life.
Proton: a positively charged particle with about 2,000 times the mass of electron; normally found in the nucleus of an atom.
Pulsar: an astronomical object that emits extremely regular pulses of radio or other energy at intervals of several seconds or less. Pulsars are thought to be spinning neutron stars.
Quantum: a fixed packet, or quantity, of some physical property such as mass or energy.
Quantum mechanics: a mathematical description of the rules by which subatomic particles interact, decay, and form atomic or nuclear objects. Classical mechanics does not apply on subatomic level.
Quark: the fundamental particle that forms all hadrons, or particles subject to the strong force. Six kinds are known. These are: "up", "top", and "charm" type with positive charges, and "down", "bottom" and "strange" type with negative charges.
Quasar: acronym for a quasi-stellar radio object. Quasars are starlike in appearance. They are now believed to be very distant objects, probably the cores of active galaxies.
Radar: a method of identifying the location or speed of a distant object by bouncing radio waves off its surface and measuring the interval before they return; also, an instrument used for this purpose. The term is an acronym for "radio detection and ranging".
Radio: the least energetic form of electromagnetic radiation, having the lowest frequency and the longest wavelength.
Radio astronomy: the observation and study of radio waves produced by astronomical phenomena.
Red giants and supergiants: bright red stars of large size, 10 to 100 times the diameter of the sun.
Relativity: a set of theories that describe how measurements are affected by motion and gravity.
Reptile: a cold-blooded, vertebrate, nonamphibious animal such as turtle, lizard, snake, or a crocodile.
Ribosome: an organelle that synthesizes proteins.
RNA (Ribonucleic acid): a complex organic molecule named for the sugar ribose, which it contains. RNA consists of two classes: messenger RNA copies genetic information stored in DNA, and transfer RNA helps match amino acids to those genetic instructions.
Ribosome: an organelle that synthesizes proteins.
Satellite: a body that orbits another.
Shiah: (Arabic) the party Of Ali; Muslims who believe that Ali ibn Abi Talib (son-in-law and cousin of the Prophet Muhammad), and his descendants should lead the Islamic nation.
Silicon: the second most common element, after oxygen, in the Earth’s crust. It also makes up 7 % of the matters in the universe.
Solar system: the sun and its associated system of planets, asteroids, and other orbiting bodies; more generally, any star and the bodies that orbit it.
Special relativity: a theory showing that observers in uniform motion cannot perceive their motion and that all observers of such motion obtain the same value for the speed of light. From these two principles the theory concludes that measurement of distance, time, and mass will vary depending on the motion of an observer moving uniformly in relation to the item being measured,
Species: the basic category of biological classification, consisting of similar organisms capable of interbreeding.
Spectrum: the array of colors or wavelengths obtained by dispersing light from a star or other source, as through a prism, Spectra are often striped with emission or absorption lines, which can be interpreted to show the chemistry and motion of the light source.
Star: a self-radiating celestial body in which energy is generated in its central region by thermonuclear reactions.
Steady state theory: a theory suggested in 1948 in which the universe never had a beginning nor will ever have an end but always remains in a steady state. After the discovery in 1965 of microwave background radiation in the universe, the Big Bang theory became dominant.
Sufi, Sufism: The mystics and mystical spirituality of Islam. The term was derived from the early Sufis who preferred to wear a coarse garment of wool (Arabic, Suf), favored by Prophet Muhammad.
Sugar: a simple carbohydrate. The sugar ribose and deoxyribose are found in RNA and DNA, respectively.
Sunnah: (Arabic) practice. Those customs sanctioned by tradition to imitate the behavior and actions of the Prophet Muhammad.
Sunni :( Arabic) the term used to denote the majority of Muslims (over 95%) whose Islam is based upon the Quran and the Sunnah (q.v.).
Superclusters: a cluster of clusters of galaxies, some of which are as much as 360,000,000 light years in diameter.
Supernatural: that which is unexplainable in terms of the natural world or known facts.
Supernova: a star close to the end of its life that undergoes an explosion that ejects most of its material in space.
Surah: (Arabic) a chapter in the Quran.
Symbiosis: the close, interdependent relationship of two unlike organisms.
Synapse: a nerve cell connection point, through which electrochemical impulses are transmitted from one nerve cell to another.
Tectonics: the study of a planet’s crust, including its structure and processes.
Ultraviolet: a band of electromagnetic radiation that has higher frequency and shorter wavelength than visible blue light has. Most ultraviolet is absorbed by the Earth’s ozone layer.
Van Allen belts: two regions in the Earth’s magnetic field or magnetosphere in which electrically charged atomic particles become trapped.
Velocity: the speed and direction of motion.
Vertebrate: an organism having a backbone.
Wavelength: the distance from crest to crest or trough to trough of an electromagnetic or other wave. Wavelengths are related to frequency; the longer the wavelength, the lower the frequency.
X-rays: very short wavelength highly penetrating electromagnetic radiation. X-radiation from space is evidence of highly energetic reactions on celestial bodies.
Yahweh: the name of the God of Israel. Yahweh may originally have been the god of another people, and adopted by the Israelites.
Yoga: a discipline early evolved by the Indians, which "yokes" the powers of mind. By means of its techniques of concentration, the Yogi acquires an intense and heightened perception of reality, which seems to bring with it a sense of peace, bliss and tranquility.
Zenith: a point directly above an observer.