chain reaction

2 ENTRIES FOUND:

chain reaction

noun

: a series of events in which each event causes the next one : a series of events caused by one single event

: a chemical or nuclear change that causes other changes of the same kind to happen

Full Definition of CHAIN REACTION

1
a :  a series of events so related to each other that each one initiates the next
b :  a number of events triggered by the same initial event
2
:  a self-sustaining chemical or nuclear reaction yielding energy or products that cause further reactions of the same kind
chain–re·act \ˈchān-rē-ˈakt\ intransitive verb

Examples of CHAIN REACTION

  1. Increased oil prices could trigger a chain reaction in the economy.

First Known Use of CHAIN REACTION

circa 1902

chain reaction

noun    (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of CHAIN REACTION

: a self-sustaining chemical or nuclear reaction yielding energy or products that cause further reactions of the same kind

chain reaction

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Process yielding products that initiate further processes of the same kind. Nuclear chain reactions are a series of nuclear fissions initiated by neutrons produced in a preceding fission. A critical mass, large enough to allow more than one fission-produced neutron to be captured, is necessary for the chain reaction to be self-sustaining. Uncontrolled chain reactions, as in an atomic bomb, occur when large numbers of neutrons are present and the reactions multiply very quickly. Nuclear reactors control their reactions through the careful distribution of the fissionable material and insertion of neutron-absorbing materials.

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