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Moment of truth
More than 25 million people died in Europe from the bubonic plague (the black death) in five years, from 1347 to 1352.

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microbe Biol.
A non-technical term refers to an organism (microorganism) which can only be seen under the microscope, such as bacterium.

micrometeorites Space
Very small particle particle of mass less than 10-6 g, which are present in space. These particles travel at very high velocity and, upon impact, can cause damage on the surface of a spacecraft. Can be collected from Earth and identified under powerful microscope as they tend to be rounded and may have small pits on their surfaces.

micron Metro.
Length measurement equal to 10-6 meter (millionth of a meter), symbol m. It is now replaced in SI by micrometer, symbol mm.

mineral acid Chem.
An inorganic acid, of which the common examples are hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid and nitric acid. The term 'mineral' indicates that these acids can be made from minerals. This is in contrast to organic acids, such as ethanoic (acetic) acid that is derived from organic compounds.

misch metal Chem.
A pyrophoric alloy of cerium and other rare earth metals such as lanthanum, neodymium and praseodymium. It is used in a wide range of applications, such as an additive to cast iron to improve malleability of the metal, when alloy with iron (30%), it is used as lighter flints (to create sparks). It is also used to improve mechanical properties of aluminium and copper alloys.

miscibility Chem.
The ability of liquids to mix in all proportions resulting in a mixture of homogeneous solution. For example water and ethanol are fully miscible since they mix in all proportions. On the other hand, octanol, which is less soluble than ethanol, forms an organic layer with water with only some octanol actually dissolves in water. Octanol and water are said to be immiscible since they are not soluble in all proportions.

Miscibility can also apply to metals in molten states. Immiscible metals are unable to form alloys but still able to form mixture in molten states. However, they will separate from each other into layers upon cooling.

Mitscherlich's law Chem.
A law of isomorphism which states that substances with same crystal structures (isomorphs) have similar chemical composition. The law is named after the chemist Eilhardt Mitscherlich (1794-1863) who discovered the law in 1821. It is useful to determine the chemical composition of an unknown compound that is isomorphous with a compound of a known formula. For example, chromium oxide is isomorphous with aluminium oxide, Al2O3 implies that the former compound has a chemical formula of Cr2O3.

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