Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The smallest mass of a fissionable material that will sustain a nuclear chain reaction at a constant level.
  • n. The amount of matter needed to generate sufficient gravitational force to halt the current expansion of the universe.
  • n. An amount or level needed for a specific result or new action to occur: "The sudden national uproar over drugs and drug abuse has reached politically critical mass in Washington” ( Tom Morganthau).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the amount of fissile material that is needed to support a self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction
  • n. A quantity or amount required to trigger a phenomenon.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the minimum mass of fissionable material that can sustain a chain reaction
  • n. the minimum amount (of something) required to start or maintain a venture

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • Notice that a threshold occurs at the indi vidual level of analysis, whereas the critical mass operates at the system level.

    Diffusion of Innovations

  • For example, a new article of clothing becomes fashionable when a critical mass of social elites begins wearing it Grindereng, 1967; Crane, 1999.

    Diffusion of Innovations

  • Discontinuance of an interactive innovation by one individual may lead eventually to a critical mass of discontinuers, and then perhaps to complete rejection of a new idea such as e-mail by the entire system.

    Diffusion of Innovations

  • Granovetter 1978 provided an illustration of how the two-level phenomenon of individual thresholds and the system-level critical mass are interrelated:

    Diffusion of Innovations

  • Factors which act to slow the rate of adoption of an interactive innovation before the critical mass is reached (like network externali ties), then serve to speed up the adoption rate after the critical mass is attained (Wieber, 1992, 1995).

    Diffusion of Innovations

  • The likelihood of a relatively short time-to-take-off for a new product in a nation was higher if that product had already reached critical mass in neighboring countries.

    Diffusion of Innovations

  • Shermesh and Tellis 2002 determined the year in which the critical mass occurred by inspecting their data on the annual rate of adoption for each new product.

    Diffusion of Innovations

  • Marketing diffusion scholars have pioneered in identifying a new dependent variable for their analyses, the amount of time required to reach critical mass for a new product in a nation this variable is called “time-to-take-off”.

    Diffusion of Innovations

  • A small number of highly influential individuals who adopt a new idea may represent a much stronger critical mass than an equally sized number of individual adopters who have little influ ence.

    Diffusion of Innovations

  • A critical mass implies that reciprocal interdependence also occurs, in which early adopters are influenced by later adopters (and discontinuers and rejecters), as well as vice versa: “As users defect, the benefits to the remaining users will decrease and the costs increase, thus stimulating further defection” (Markus, 1987).

    Diffusion of Innovations

Comments

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  • How boring was life before Babel!
    Now sit down, and en-join the rabble.

    June 23, 2008

  • Critical mass
    is clearly unable
    to save As
    ativum
    from the Tower of Babel

    June 23, 2008

  • the minimum amount needed to sustain a process

    June 23, 2008

  • From Pro to yarb hear the power of Babylon.
    From Bilby to jmp, we all do babble on.

    June 23, 2008

  • From Peru to Cebu hear the power of Babylon.
    From Bali to Cali, far beneath the Coral Sea.

    June 23, 2008

  • I know, it's just that some of us were really in the best wordie mood ever. I beg your pardon.

    June 23, 2008

  • Much ado in Cebu,
    And in Manila too.

    June 23, 2008

  • Wordzilla in Manila?

    June 23, 2008

  • Wow, 5 people with 170 or more comments in one week! If this is what happens when I go to Belgium for a few days, what's going to happen when I go the Philippines next month?

    June 23, 2008

  • I think Wordie may have reached some sort of critical mass on Friday, June 20, 2008. Now I really can't keep up with the comments!

    June 21, 2008