critical mass

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critical mass

n.
1. The smallest mass of a fissionable material that will sustain a nuclear chain reaction at a constant level.
2. The total mass of matter needed to generate sufficient gravitational force to halt the current expansion of the universe.
3. An amount or level needed for a specific result or new action to occur: "[Plastic bags are] so nearly weightless that it's difficult to gather enough of a critical mass to make recycling them economically worthwhile" (Susan Freinkel).
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

critical mass

n
1. (Nuclear Physics) the minimum mass of fissionable material that can sustain a nuclear chain reaction
2. the minimum amount of money or number of people required to start or sustain an operation, business, process, etc: the critical mass for a subscription digital sports channel.
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

crit′ical mass′


n.
1. the amount of a given fissionable material necessary to sustain a chain reaction.
2. an amount necessary or sufficient to have a significant effect or to achieve a result.
[1940–45]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

critical mass

The minimum amount of fissionable material capable of supporting a chain reaction under precisely specified conditions.
Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. US Department of Defense 2005.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.critical mass - the minimum amount (of something) required to start or maintain a venture; "the battle for the computer market has now reached critical mass"; "there is now a critical mass of successful women to take the lead"; "they sold the business because it lacked critical mass"
amount - the relative magnitude of something with reference to a criterion; "an adequate amount of food for four people"
2.critical mass - the minimum mass of fissionable material that can sustain a chain reaction
mass - the property of a body that causes it to have weight in a gravitational field
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
Translations
masse critique

critical mass

n (Phys) → kritische Masse; (fig)Mindestanforderung f; to reach critical mass (fig)einen kritischen Punkt erreichen
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
References in periodicals archive ?
In 2030 will audiences still reach critical masses?
It addresses the mass of fissile materials needed to "make a bomb, yet it's clear that the critical masses given--10 kilograms for plutonium-239, 50 kg for uranium-235, and 60 kg for neptunium-237--are for bare spheres with no neutron moderation, reflection, or other factors contributing to going critical.
If certain settings of critical masses are adopted, it is possible that the critical mass necessary for arthood and the critical mass required for non-arthood could both be met.

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