atomic

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atomic

1. of, using, or characterized by atomic bombs or atomic energy
2. of, related to, or comprising atoms
3. Logic (of a sentence, formula, etc.) having no internal structure at the appropriate level of analysis. In predicate calculus, Fa is an atomic sentence and Fx an atomic predicate
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

atomic

(jargon)
(From Greek "atomos", indivisible) Indivisible; cannot be split up.

For example, an instruction may be said to do several things "atomically", i.e. all the things are done immediately, and there is no chance of the instruction being half-completed or of another being interspersed. Used especially to convey that an operation cannot be interrupted.

An atomic data type has no internal structure visible to the program. It can be represented by a flat domain (all elements are equally defined). Machine integers and Booleans are two examples.

An atomic database transaction is one which is guaranteed to complete successfully or not at all. If an error prevents a partially-performed transaction from proceeding to completion, it must be "backed out" to prevent the database being left in an inconsistent state.
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atomic

Indivisible. An atomic operation, or atomicity, implies an operation that must be performed entirely or not at all. For example, if machine failure prevents a transaction to be processed to completion, the system will be rolled back to the start of the transaction. See two-phase commit and atom.
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