Definition of chain reaction in English:

chain reaction

Translate chain reaction into Spanish


  • 1A chemical reaction or other process in which the products themselves promote or spread the reaction, which under certain conditions may accelerate dramatically.

    ‘It can protect the polyunsaturated fatty acids in cell membranes from the autocatalytic chain reaction of lipid peroxidation.’
    • ‘Thousands or hundreds of thousands or even millions of these monomer fragments then add to each other in a chain reaction to form polymers.’
    • ‘The entire process is the chain reaction called lipid peroxidation.’
    • ‘Polymerase chain reaction products were examined by agarose gel electrophoresis and ethidium bromide staining.’
    • ‘Once free radicals are produced, a chain reaction occurs wherein lipid peroxidation becomes self-perpetuating, generating more free radicals, and causing further harm.’
    • ‘Hydroxyl radical stimulates the chain reaction of lipid peroxidation by removing the first hydrogen atom.’
    • ‘The hydroperoxyderivatives of PUFA can undergo autocatalytic degradation, producing radicals and thus initiating the chain reaction of lipid peroxidation.’
    • ‘During polymerization, the radical structure of monolignols may be retained after the linkage of an alcohol residue to a lignin polymer, causing a chain reaction or propagation of radicals.’
    • ‘So only this isotope can be used to create a runaway chain reaction.’
    • ‘A chain reaction that has received a lot of attention in recent years is the reaction by which Freons deplete the ozone layer that protects us from ultraviolet radiation.’
    • ‘When high concentrations of these pollutants accumulate and interact with sunlight, a chain reaction occurs.’
    • ‘This means that when calcium is released from one area of the store it can cause the opening of adjacent calcium channels - resulting in a chain reaction.’
    • ‘They found that the heat released by breaking bonds was not enough to drive a chain reaction that could lead to explosion.’
    • ‘Once initiated, lipid peroxyl radical can propagate as a chain reaction by abstracting hydrogen atoms from unsaturated fatty acids in the vicinity.’
    • ‘Lipoperoxidation occurs as a chain reaction initiated by free radicals, which propagates itself and can result in the formation of many equivalents of lipid peroxides.’
    • ‘Nucleic acid amplification tests for chlamydia, including polymerase chain reaction, ligase chain reaction, and transcription mediated amplification assays, are more sensitive and highly specific.’
    • ‘Dr D' Aniello had found in earlier experiments that injecting the amino acids into rats triggered a chain reaction of hormones that ended with the production of testosterone in males and progesterone in females.’
    • ‘Polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays have been developed to test for infant botulism.’
    • ‘The new technologies virtually negate the need for examinations, and urine testing by polymerase chain reaction or ligase chain reaction is as effective as conventional testing.’
    • ‘In the stratosphere, increased levels of H2 start a chain reaction that destroys ozone.’
    1. 1.1The self-sustaining fission reaction spread by neutrons which occurs in nuclear reactors and bombs.
      ‘Because fission releases additional neutrons, a chain reaction can take place.’
      • ‘On 2 December 1942, in a laboratory under the university football stadium, Fermi achieved the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.’
      • ‘This free neutron then causes a chain reaction which releases a huge amount of energy.’
      • ‘When the fuel rods are fully in they mop up so many neutrons that the chain reaction cannot be maintained and the reactor stops.’
      • ‘Fusion in H-bombs is ignited by a fission chain reaction of uranium or plutonium: an atom bomb is used to set off the hydrogen bomb.’
      • ‘Other radioisotopes are produced in fission reactors through bombardment by the neutrons that were released in the fission chain reaction.’
      • ‘In l942, the first nuclear reactor with a self-sustaining chain reaction was built in the United States.’
      • ‘And once it had been established that fission and a chain reaction was a real possibility of course, that was the beginning of the establishment of the atomic bomb project at Los Alamos.’
      • ‘If this process is repeated, a self-sustaining chain reaction will occur, and it is this chain reaction that causes the atomic bomb to have its destructive power.’
      • ‘During a nuclear chain reaction, many billions of uranium nuclei may fission in less than a second.’
      • ‘Due to the risk of forming a critical mass of uranium fuel that would initiate a nuclear chain reaction, the Japanese government standards stipulated that no more than 2.4 kilograms of enriched uranium oxide could be mixed at a time.’
      • ‘The testing engineers simply replace the fissile material with a chemically identical isotope that does not produce a chain reaction - the weapon performs nearly every step, but does not deliver a nuclear yield.’
      • ‘After a period of time, the fuel rods in a reactor are no longer able to sustain a chain reaction and must be removed.’
      • ‘In order to maintain a chain reaction, therefore, it is necessary to introduce some material that will slow down the neutrons released during fission.’
      • ‘The reason is that the chain reaction would be halted by uranium - 238 because it removes neutrons without reproducing any new ones.’
      • ‘With only a small uranium pile by 1944, the German physicists, unaware of the difficulties that lay ahead in producing a chain reaction, could not hope to succeed before the end of the war.’
      • ‘In the basement of the unused football stadium of the University of Chicago, scientists Enrico Fermi and Arthur Compton built an atomic pile and in December 1942 produced the first chain reaction in uranium.’
      • ‘When Enrico Fermi and other scientists at Los Alamos produced the first chain reaction, Fermi held a party at his house.’
      • ‘As the last rod was slowly removed, radiation detectors showed a chain reaction.’
      • ‘The most complicated process was the process of getting enough uranium to sustain a chain reaction.’
    2. 1.2A series of events, each caused by the previous one.
      ‘an article in one publication sets off a chain reaction in the media’
      • ‘Welcome to the British Islands… the North Sea archipelago that could be left if global warming starts a chain reaction of events contributing to rising seas.’
      • ‘The mayor William and Lea began to talk about the weekend event, starting a chain reaction of conversations.’
      • ‘When I read about food, sometimes a single word is enough to detonate a chain reaction of associative memories.’
      • ‘Once again, tax rate cuts have created a virtuous chain reaction of higher economic growth, more jobs, higher corporate profits, and finally more tax receipts.’
      • ‘The more intelligently you can spot an unusual trend, the faster you can stop an event that could become a chain reaction of negative publicity.’
      • ‘That series of commands started off a chain reaction throughout the rest of the ship.’
      • ‘So began a series of chain reactions that would result in Einstein's Gift, Thiessen's historical drama opening this week at the Citadel Theatre.’
      • ‘To me, the world was a series of chain reactions and chaotic happenings.’
      • ‘Every problem magnifies the impact of the others, and all are so tightly interlocked that one reversal can produce a chain reaction with results far distant from the original cause.’
      • ‘The intense heat from the fire causes the moisture in the limestone to expand and it explodes like popcorn, producing a chain reaction of destruction.’
      • ‘In a fragile economic environment such as Japan's, forcing banks to write off huge amounts of bad debt can too easily produce a chain reaction of corporate failures and rising unemployment that sends Japan into a full-fledged depression.’
      • ‘As he notes, ‘the most remarkable thing about the Anglo-French treaty of 1860 was the chain reaction it produced.’’
      • ‘The bottled water controversy could very well be the first in a chain reaction of consumers demanding stringent standards for other food products.’
      • ‘With XP, Microsoft can finally harness its battery of products and Web sites, feeding customers from one product into another in a chain reaction with a potentially explosive result.’
      • ‘He believes that a system whereby shops make three calls, one to the police and two to other shops setting off a chain reaction, could have spread the message inside five minutes.’
      • ‘The novel shocked many of its readers and caused a chain reaction that spread through all of France and ultimately called for the prosecution of the author.’
      • ‘The chain reaction soon spread over the rest of the corporate landscape, where Enron had long been regarded as a leader in the field of clever accounting tricks.’
      • ‘Past experience indicates that even a single big event in any part of the City drawing thousands of people has a telling effect on the City roads, which get clogged in a chain reaction spreading across Bangalore.’
      • ‘They could never permit that a single observation could generate a chain reaction that would spread the news about the existence of life on Mars and that would cause profound changes in the terrestrial society.’


chain reaction

/ˌCHān rēˈakSHən/ /ˌtʃeɪn riˈækʃən/