critical mass

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Acronyms, Wikipedia.

critical mass:

see chain reactionchain reaction,
self-sustaining reaction that, once started, continues without further outside influence. Proper conditions for a chain reaction depend not only on various external factors, such as temperature, but also on the quantity and shape of the substance undergoing the
..... Click the link for more information.

Critical Mass


the smallest mass of a fissionable substance at which a self-sustaining fission chain reaction of atomic nuclei can occur; it is characterized by the approach of the neutron multiplication factor to 1. The corresponding dimensions and volume of the device in which a chain reaction takes place are also called critical.

critical mass

[′krid·ə·kəl ′mas]
The mass of fissionable material of a particular shape that is just sufficient to sustain a nuclear chain reaction.

critical mass

In physics, the minimum amount of fissionable material required to sustain a chain reaction. Of a software product, describes a condition of the software such that fixing one bug introduces one plus epsilon bugs. (This malady has many causes: creeping featurism, ports to too many disparate environments, poor initial design, etc.) When software achieves critical mass, it can never be fixed; it can only be discarded and rewritten.
References in periodicals archive ?
Ultimately Critical Mass is an indeterminate environment that in its visual generosity beckons us to enter into Hobbes' notion of a social contract.
Suess's fictional Whos in Whoville, Critical Mass is a collective "We are Here
NASA and Critical Mass are employing a web strategy that aims to provide the public with content tailored to its interests; inspire young people by giving them a rewarding on-line experience; and involve the public by providing an outlet through which it could become directly involved with the agency.
Basically, there is a difference in degrees and rhetoric between the politicians from the major parties, says Wenonah Hauter, director of Public Citizen's Critical Mass Energy and Environment Program.
Local and regional insurers, which traditionally enjoy a loss-ratio advantage, may have the most to gain through strategic alliances with local business partners as a means to create virtual critical mass.
Critical mass is a key success factor for any new trading venture.
The gradual growth of a critical mass of film and television professionals, critics and audiences has involved much compromise and many failures, but it has also involved much commitment and investment in Canadian work by a multidimensional, flawed, but--it must be said--effective public institution.
Loeppke: One of the reasons critical mass is important is to have a compelling influence in the local marketplace as a coordinated delivery system.
Chairman Mr Steve Ancell correct said support for Critical Mass had dwindled severely and the group was no longer promoting the need for car-free road space for cyclists.
For instance, a key piece of information that would-be nuke builders might require relates to the critical mass of fissile material needed to induce fission under select circumstances.
Yes, agree all who participated in "A Critical Mass," an event its organizers called the first public Roman Catholic Mass led exclusively by women and celebrated Oct.
In the end, the fundamental change does not take place until there is enough critical mass moving in one direction creating the necessary momentum to pull the rest along.