semidecay

Science Dictionary
decay  [%PREMIUM_LINK%]     (dĭ-kā')  Pronunciation Key 
Noun  
  1. The breaking down or rotting of organic matter through the action of bacteria, fungi, or other organisms; decomposition.

  2. The spontaneous transformation of a relatively unstable particle into a set of new particles. For example, a pion decays spontaneously into a muon and an antineutrino. The decay of heavy or unstable atomic nuclei (such as uranium or carbon-10) into more stable nuclei and emitted particles is called radioactive decay. The study of particle decay is fundamental to subatomic physics. See more at fundamental force, radioactive decay.


Verb   To undergo decay.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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