asymptotic freedom

noun

physics
: a phenomenon in physics: the attraction between quarks decreases as their proximity increases
What is especially intriguing about QCD is that—contrary to what happens with such familiar forces as gravity and electromagnetism—the coupling strength grows weaker as quarks approach one another. Physicists have called this curious counterintuitive behavior asymptotic freedom.Michael Riordan et al., Scientific American, May 2006

Word History

First Known Use

1973, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of asymptotic freedom was in 1973

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Cite this Entry

“Asymptotic freedom.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/asymptotic%20freedom. Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

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