chain reaction

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chain reaction

n.
1. A series of events in which each induces or influences the next.
2. Physics A multistage nuclear reaction, especially a self-sustaining series of fissions in which the release of neutrons from the splitting of one atom leads to the splitting of others.
3. Chemistry A series of reactions in which one product of a reacting set is a reactant in the following set.

chain reaction

n
1. (General Physics) a process in which a neutron colliding with an atomic nucleus causes fission and the ejection of one or more other neutrons, which induce other nuclei to split
2. (Chemistry) a chemical reaction in which the product of one step is a reactant in the following step
3. a series of rapidly occurring events, each of which precipitates the next

chain′ reac`tion


n.
1. a nuclear or chemical reaction in which the reaction products in turn trigger additional reactions.
2. a series of events in which each event is the result of the one preceding and the cause of the one following.
[1925–30]
chain′-re•act`, v.i. -re•act•ed, -re•act•ing.
chain′ re•ac`tor, n.

chain reaction

1. Physics A continuous series of nuclear fissions in which neutrons released from the splitting of one atomic nucleus collide with nearby nuclei, which in turn split and release more neutrons to collide with other nuclei, thus keeping the reaction going. See more at fission. See Note at nuclear reactor.
2. Chemistry A reaction in which a change in one molecule causes changes in many other molecules until a stable compound is formed.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.chain reaction - a series of chemical reactions in which the product of one is a reactant in the next
chemical reaction, reaction - (chemistry) a process in which one or more substances are changed into others; "there was a chemical reaction of the lime with the ground water"
2.chain reaction - a self-sustaining nuclear reaction; a series of nuclear fissions in which neutrons released by splitting one atom leads to the splitting of others
nuclear reaction - (physics) a process that alters the energy or structure or composition of atomic nuclei
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