|1.||the minimum mass of fissionable material that can sustain a nuclear chain reaction|
|2.||the minimum amount of money or number of people required to start or sustain an operation, business, process, etc: the critical mass for a subscription digital sports channel|
|a scrap or morsel of food left at a meal.|
|a gadget; dingus; thingumbob.|
Note: The term critical mass is used to refer generally to the minimum amount of something needed to produce a given effect: “The town needs a critical mass of industry to attract more business.”
critical massn. 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.