nuclear reaction


noun

a process in which the structure and energy content of an atomic nucleus are changed by interaction with another nucleus or particle

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Scientific definitions for nuclear reaction

nuclear reaction

A process, such as fission, fusion, or radioactive decay, in which the structure of an atomic nucleus is altered through release of energy or mass or by being broken apart. See more at fission fusion.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for nuclear reaction

nuclear reaction

A reaction that changes the number of protons or neutrons in the nucleus of an atom. There are several kinds of nuclear reactions, including the fragmentation of large nuclei into smaller ones (nuclear fission), the building up of small nuclei into larger ones (nuclear fusion), and changes begun by collisions with elementary particles or other nuclei (as in particle accelerators).

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.