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"action in resistance or response to another action or power," 1610s, from re- "again, anew" + action (q.v.). Modeled on French réaction, older Italian reattione, from Medieval Latin reactionem (nominative reactio), noun of action formed in Late Latin from past participle stem of Latin reagere "react," from re- "back" + agere "to do, act" (see act (v.)).
Originally scientific; physiological sense is attested from 1805; psychological sense first recorded 1887; general sense of "action or feeling in response" (to a statement, event, etc.) is recorded from 1914. Reaction time, "time elapsing between the action of an external stimulus and the giving of a signal in reply," attested by 1874.
reaction re·ac·tion (rē-āk'shən)
A response of an organism or living tissue to a stimulus.
The state resulting from such a response.
A chemical change or transformation in which a substance decomposes, combines with other substances, or interchanges constituents with other substances.
The response of cells or tissues to an antigen, as in a test for immunization.
A pattern of behavior constituting a mental disorder or personality type.
nuclear reaction |
A process, such as fission, fusion, or radioactive decay, in which the structure of an atomic nucleus is altered through release of energy or mass or by being broken apart. See more at fission, fusion.
A reaction that changes the number of protons or neutrons in the nucleus of an atom. There are several kinds of nuclear reactions, including the fragmentation of large nuclei into smaller ones (nuclear fission), the building up of small nuclei into larger ones (nuclear fusion), and changes begun by collisions with elementary particles or other nuclei (as in particle accelerators).
change in the identity or characteristics of an atomic nucleus, induced by bombarding it with an energetic particle. The bombarding particle may be an alpha particle, a gamma-ray photon, a neutron, a proton, or a heavy ion. In any case, the bombarding particle must have enough energy to approach the positively charged nucleus to within range of the strong nuclear force.