Accumulating critical quantity Attaining threshold value
Attaining the minimum amount of a given material or energy necessary to achieve a self-sustaining chain reaction under specified conditions.
The term originated in nuclear physics in connection with the amount of fissile material necessary to sustain a fission chain reaction. It may also be used, by analogy, to refer to the quantity of funds, people, information, [etc] which must necessarily be assembled before the intensity, variety, and quality of communication in the social subsystem so created is sufficient to maintain mutually stimulating social processes and for the participants to be able to function innovatively and productively -- [eg] the critical number of researchers to constitute an innovative research team; of change agents, to sustain a development process; of artists, to constitute a viable artistic community [etc].
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a unique, experimental research work of the Union of International Associations. It is currently published as a searchable online platform with profiles of world problems, action strategies, and human values that are interlinked in novel and innovative ways. These connections are based on a range of relationships such as broader and narrower scope, aggravation, relatedness and more. By concentrating on these links and relationships, the Encyclopedia is uniquely positioned to bring focus to the complex and expansive sphere of global issues and their interconnected nature.
The initial content for the Encyclopedia was seeded from UIA’s Yearbook of International Organizations. UIA’s decades of collected data on the enormous variety of association life provided a broad initial perspective on the myriad problems of humanity. Recognizing that international associations are generally confronting world problems and developing action strategies based on particular values, the initial content was based on the descriptions, aims, titles and profiles of international associations.
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