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atomic pile

noun, Physics.
reactor (def 4).
Origin of atomic pile
First recorded in 1940-45 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for atomic pile
Historical Examples
  • The atomic pile levers were still at their proper calibration.

    Atom Drive Charles Louis Fontenay
  • The Nyjord ships carry enough H-bombs to turn the entire planet into an atomic pile.

    Planet of the Damned Harry Harrison
  • "I suppose you know that this ship runs on an atomic pile," he said in a conversational tone of voice.

    The Stutterer R.R. Merliss
  • Inside this anchor tube ran the thick coaxial cable that fed three-phase electric power from the atomic pile to the ship.

    Where I Wasn't Going Walt Richmond
  • Trailing the wheel ten miles off, was the atomic pile, directly attached to its anchor tube.

    Where I Wasn't Going Walt Richmond
  • Look, you know how an atomic pile works—essentially just like an atomic bomb.

    The K-Factor Harry Harrison (AKA Henry Maxwell Dempsey)
  • This ship is powered by a nuclear reactor—in other words, an atomic pile.

    Rip Foster in Ride the Gray Planet

    Harold Leland Goodwin
British Dictionary definitions for atomic pile

atomic pile

the original name for a nuclear reactor
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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atomic pile in Science
atomic pile  
An early type of nuclear reactor whose core consisted of layers of graphite block interspersed with uranium, designed to create a sustained fission reaction.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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