Definition of atomic in English:



  • 1Relating to an atom or atoms.

    ‘the atomic nucleus’
    • ‘The latter half of the twentieth century has opened to scientists an entirely new world: the world of atomic and subatomic particles.’
    • ‘Nanotechnology is the study and manipulation of materials on atomic and molecular scales measured in billionths of a meter.’
    • ‘Whilst we are a long way away from turning lead into gold, science at the atomic level, or nanotechnology, is with us already.’
    • ‘Particles from the atomic realm such as photons, electrons or atoms are fired at the first plate, which has two vertical slits in it.’
    • ‘Dispersed material may range in size from particles of atomic and molecular dimensions to particles whose size is measured in millimeters.’
    • ‘The study of molecular and atomic structure is called quantum chemistry, or quantum mechanics.’
    • ‘‘To me a table is a bowl of Jello,’ he says, a reference to the constant jitters that occur on the atomic level.’
    • ‘Because of its weak interaction with atomic nuclei, the neutrino travels freely through any material object and is very difficult to observe.’
    • ‘Early studies of radioactivity revealed that certain atomic nuclei were naturally radioactive.’
    • ‘The electromagnetic force holds electrons in orbit around atomic nuclei and is thus responsible for holding together all material with which we are familiar.’
    • ‘All substances occur in atomic form, each atom being eternal and indestructible.’
    • ‘The breakthrough may help to address concerns about the safety of nanotechnology - the engineering and use of materials at an atomic or molecular scale.’
    • ‘Studies of complex biological molecules at the atomic level will play a crucial role in this process.’
    • ‘The region occupied by some atomic orbitals is spherical with the nucleus of the atom at the center of the sphere.’
    • ‘An atomic orbital is the region around the nucleus of an atom where an electron of a particular energy is most likely to be found.’
    • ‘Its output of particles (electrons, protons, ions and atomic nuclei) is approximately one million tonnes per second.’
    • ‘One strategy for studying phase transitions is to sweep aside all the intricacy of atomic or molecular structure and build the simplest model that exhibits the behavior of interest.’
    • ‘Later, Rutherford also discovered the atomic nucleus and the proton.’
    • ‘This device was originally used to map surfaces at the atomic level by using a single atom held at the tip of a probe.’
    • ‘In conventional superconductors, atomic vibrations induce the electron pairing.’
    1. 1.1Chemistry (of a substance) consisting of uncombined atoms rather than molecules.
      ‘atomic hydrogen’
      • ‘Scientists have broken water down to its atomic material.’
      • ‘At that temperature, the gas has enough energy to excite molecular hydrogen but not atomic hydrogen.’
      • ‘It consists of atomic and molecular hydrogen, with 10 per cent of helium.’
      • ‘The team has used gases such as ethanol to prevent oxidation and atomic oxygen or hydrogen to remove contamination and provide in-situ cleaning.’
      • ‘Using a molecular beam epitaxy chamber, scientists spray-paint a surface with atoms under high temperatures, creating an atomic coating.’
      • ‘When she observed the galaxy later using the radio telescope, she found that it is embedded in a huge disk of atomic hydrogen gas.’
    2. 1.2Of or forming a single irreducible unit or component in a larger system.
      ‘a society made up of atomic individuals pursuing private interests’
      • ‘It was a dream in which man cast off his atomic individuality, as the lycanthrope surrendered to the multiplicity of the wolf pack.’
      • ‘The whole issue is compromised by millennia of animal-human interaction that make it difficult to achieve moral clarity even in the atomic system of one owner and one pet.’
      • ‘We have this kind of litigious society where the state is constantly trying to mediate between the rights of all of these atomic individuals.’
      • ‘This is expressed by saying that compound propositions are truth-functions of their component atomic propositions.’
      • ‘From a philosophical point of view, one has to ask whether modeling growth using atomic units (modules or cells) makes sense at all.’
      • ‘Iin this case it uses the atomic unit of digital life - a single screen of data on a Palm, a little brick of reality we spend so much time staring at all day long.’
      • ‘The human community, as he conceives it, is neither a mere juxtaposition of atomic individuals nor a superorganism living its own life apart from the individual members.’
      • ‘For low-resolution data, it is not necessary to consider the whole set of individual atomic positions.’
      • ‘The triangle is a kind of atomic unit in geometry.’
      • ‘Naturally showing all of these components in full atomic detail does not get us anywhere, since there are way too many atoms.’
      • ‘Computational docking and fitting techniques have been developed to assemble the atomic structures of their components.’
      • ‘Jeff is no stranger to the issues involved, but even knowing the requirements, it is still difficult to split patches into atomic pieces that each either fix or implement a single thing.’
    3. 1.3Relating to, denoting, or using the energy released in nuclear fission or fusion.
      ‘the atomic age required a new way of political thinking’
      ‘atomic weapons’
      • ‘Dr Barnaby worked in a British atomic weapons laboratory in the 1950s, and later headed up the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.’
      • ‘Just as nuclear scientists concerned about lethal radioactivity oppose atomic weapons, should marine scientists campaign for an end to coal-fired power stations?’
      • ‘Cheney said recent information gleaned from a top former Pakistani nuclear scientist provided compelling evidence that Pyongyang has an active atomic weapons program.’
      • ‘The strike against Hiroshima on 6 August 1945 signaled the beginning of the atomic age and a revolution in strategic affairs.’
      • ‘Since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, historians have devoted nearly as much energy to debating who made the decision to use the bomb as was released in the atomic explosions.’
      • ‘The centrality of atomic fission and fusion is giving way to the collection, processing, fusion, and dissemination of information.’
      • ‘That the cooperation with the Kremlin had limits was shown in the Manhattan Project, the secret Anglo-American effort to acquire an atomic weapon before the Germans.’
      • ‘Israel has always maintained a policy of nuclear ambiguity, refusing to confirm or deny it has atomic weapons.’
      • ‘According to sources in the security services, upon his release the former atomic reactor technician is to be prevented from travelling abroad.’
      • ‘Nuclear fusion is sort of the Holy Grail of energy production, whereby atomic nuclei slam together at high temperatures, fuse and release a great deal of energy.’
      • ‘The threat of nuclear proliferation will abate as dangerous stockpiles of atomic weapons are quickly used up.’
      • ‘We can scoff now at the innocence of the early atomic age when we were all advised that in a nuclear attack it was safe to hide under the kitchen table.’
      • ‘Following the initial use of an atomic weapon against his country, the Japanese war minister, General Korechiki Anami, attempted to persuade the Japanese Supreme Council to continue the war.’
      • ‘The Soviets had exploded their first atomic device in 1949, but they lacked credible delivery systems to threaten the United States directly.’
      • ‘Has your recipe for nuclear fuel changed much since the birth of the atomic age?’
      • ‘The atomic fallout is still falling, a silent, ominous dust that isn't remarked upon, only suggested.’
      • ‘Robert Oppenheimer, one of the scientists who created the American atomic bomb, characterized the atomic age as like two scorpions trapped in a glass jar.’
      • ‘Radio Bikini reminds us that as long as there are atomic weapons around the world, what happened in that out of the way atoll is just another dumb decision, probably destined to be repeated.’
      • ‘This is like depending on super weapons to defend us in an atomic age.’
      • ‘Leahy's position on atomic weapons was affected by the fact that he simply did not believe that the bomb would work.’
      • ‘Shock at this event and fear of the possibility of atomic attack, led to the installation of a new system of cable communication in the USA.’
      • ‘It is precisely those features which are undesirable in a nuclear reactor that are vital in an atomic weapon.’
      • ‘This was the first film to suggest that mankind will have to conquer its destructive nature and control its atomic weapons if it ever wants to join the rest of the peace-loving Universe.’
      • ‘The atomic fallout would settle along the beaches and cities of the world - including New Zealand and Canada.’
      • ‘Mining of uranium ores has been a controversial issue because of its use in atomic weapons and the potential for accidents at nuclear power stations.’
      • ‘Then, in late 1953, the Atomic Energy Commission succeeded in developing a high-yield, lightweight atomic weapon.’


Late 17th century: from modern Latin atomicus, from atomus indivisible (see atom).