Fis"sion(?), n. [L. fissio. See Fissure.] 1. A cleaving, splitting, or breaking up into parts.
(Biol.) A method of asexual reproduction among the lowest (unicellular) organisms by means of a process of self-division, consisting of gradual division or cleavage of the into two parts, each of which then becomes a separate and independent organisms; as when a cell in an animal or plant, or its germ, undergoes a spontaneous division, and the parts again subdivide. See Segmentation, and
Cell division, under Division.
(Zol.) A process by which certain coral polyps, echinoderms, annelids, etc., spontaneously subdivide, each individual thus forming two or more new ones. See Strobilation.
(Physics) The act or process of disintegration of an atomic nucleus into two or more smaller pieces; called also
nuclear fission. The process may be spontaneous or induced by capture of neutrons or other smaller nuclei, and usually proceeds with evolution of energy.
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