spallation

[spaw-ley-shuhn]
noun Physics.
a nuclear reaction in which several nucleons are released from the nucleus of an atom.

Origin:
1945–50; spall + -ation

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World English Dictionary
spallation (spəˈleɪʃən)
 
n
physics a type of nuclear reaction in which a photon or particle hits a nucleus and causes it to emit many other particles or photons
 
[C20: from spall + -ation]

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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

spallation spal·la·tion (spô-lā'shən)
n.

  1. A nuclear reaction in which nuclei are bombarded by high-energy particles, causing the liberation of protons and alpha particles.

  2. Fragmentation.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

spallation

high-energy nuclear reaction in which a target nucleus struck by an incident (bombarding) particle of energy greater than about 50 million electron volts (MeV) ejects numerous lighter particles and becomes a product nucleus correspondingly lighter than the original nucleus. The light ejected particles may be neutrons, protons, or various composite particles equivalent to nuclei of hydrogen, helium, or lithium isotopes. The product nucleus is occasionally much lighter than the target nucleus; chlorine-38, for example, has been produced along with an assortment of neutrons, protons, and alpha particles (helium nuclei) by bombarding copper-63 with protons accelerated to 70 MeV.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The new mission calls for the development and use of spallation neutron sources for research and applications.
In this case the system is driven by a proton accelerator that provides the additional neutrons via the spallation process.
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