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90s Slang You Should Know

magic number

noun, Physics.
the atomic number or neutron number of an exceptionally stable nuclide.
Origin of magic number
First recorded in 1945-50 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for magic number
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Turning away from the curious throng, Mark cupped his hand, then together they all three peered at that magic number.

    A Ticket to Adventure Roy J. Snell
  • They then said, "We are only three Ju Ju men; you must get seven more of us, making the magic number of ten."

  • The ring becoming seven mountains suggests with its magic number an Oriental origin.

    Filipino Popular Tales Dean S. Fansler
  • Its letters make up the magic number 365, supposed to represent the number of spirits subject to the supreme being.

  • Some conjurers say that number three is the magic number, and some say number seven.

British Dictionary definitions for magic number

magic number

(physics) any of the numbers 2, 8, 20, 28, 50, 82, and 126. Nuclides with these numbers of nucleons appear to have greater stability than other nuclides
(chem) a number of atoms that is particularly stable in certain types of compound that have clusters of the same type of atom
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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magic number in Science
magic number
Any of the numbers, 2, 8, 20, 28, 50, 82, or 126, that represent the number of neutrons or protons in strongly bound and exceptionally stable atomic nuclei. The existence of such stable nuclei is explained by assuming a shell structure for nucleons, much like the shell structure of electron orbitals around the nucleus.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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