/ ˈtʃeɪn riˈækʃn̩ /
Množina reči chain reaction je chain reactions.
1. A self-sustaining nuclear reaction; a series of nuclear fissions in which neutrons released by splitting one atom leads to the splitting of others.
2. A series of chemical reactions in which the product of one is a reactant in the next.
In chemistry, a succession of reactions, usually involving free radicals, where the products of one stage are the reactants of the next. A chain reaction is characterized by the continual generation of reactive substances.
A chain reaction comprises three separate stages: initiation—the initial generation of reactive species; propagation—reactions that involve reactive species and generate similar or different reactive species; and termination—reactions that involve the reactive species but produce only stable, nonreactive substances. Chain reactions may occur slowly (for example, the oxidation of edible oils) or accelerate as the number of reactive species increases, ultimately resulting in explosion.
In nuclear physics, a fission reaction that is maintained because neutrons released by the splitting of some atomic nuclei themselves go on to split others, releasing even more neutrons. Such a reaction can be controlled (as in a nuclear reactor) by using moderators to absorb excess neutrons. Uncontrolled, a chain reaction produces a nuclear explosion (as in an atom bomb).