- Monomer: A relatively simple molecule from which a polymer can be made.
- Polymer: A large molecule in which one or more monomers are repeated.
- Polymerisation: The reaction of monomers to form a polymer.
- Ethylene can act as a monomer that polymerises to form polyethylene.
- The double bond in ethylene breaks open to form single bonds with neighbouring molecules, forming the long saturated polyethylene chain.
Structure of ethylene, with its double bond between carbon atoms