Share this entry

Share this page

subcritical

Syllabification: sub·crit·i·cal
Pronunciation: /səbˈkridək(ə)l
 
/

Definition of subcritical in English:

adjective

Physics
1Below a critical threshold, in particular.
Example sentences
  • The US has not performed a nuclear test in 10 years, although it has conducted at least 17 subcritical tests - the most recent in August - which are allowed under the CTBT.
  • At subcritical forward velocities, here less than 0.16 nL / sec, the template predicts that no stable gaits exist.
1.1(In nuclear physics) containing or involving less than the critical mass.
Example sentences
  • The most obvious was the gun assembly technique, in which two subcritical masses of enriched uranium were explosively driven and held together until nuclear fission began and was sustained.
  • Notwithstanding, the U.S. government continues to possess and maintain approximately 10,000 nuclear weapons, and is conducting an ongoing program of subcritical nuclear testing.
  • She watched the reactor output climb until the drive was subcritical.
1.2(Of a flow of fluid) slower than the speed at which waves travel in the fluid.
Example sentences
  • At 20°C the solution has a critical point at ionic strengths of ~ 13 mM and becomes increasingly subcritical as the ionic strength is lowered.

Definition of subcritical in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day emulous
Pronunciation: ˈemyələs
adjective
seeking to emulate or imitate someone or something