Give Me a Break!: Fract and Frag – 15 Words

diffract

undergo diffraction

In the following experiment we’ll set up two slits to give waves of light the opportunity to diffract as they travel through them.Scientific American (Dec 12, 2013)
diffraction

process by which light changes passing through a narrow slit

Many properties of light, including diffraction, are naturally explained by the wave theory, and in subsequent years Huygens’ view carried the day.Cosmos
fractal

(mathematics) a geometric pattern that is repeated at every scale and so cannot be represented by classical geometry

The image is fun and a little silly but also an example of a fractal—detailed pattern shows self-similar shapes at different scales.Scientific American (Dec 19, 2012)
fraction

a small part or item forming a piece of a whole

Even if I completed the trail, I thought at that moment, I would never see the smallest fraction of what I could see.Washington Post (Feb 18, 2016)
fractious

stubbornly resistant to authority or control

But the notoriously fractious opposition is also split into many parties, diluting support.New York Times (Sep 18, 2016)
fracture

breaking of hard tissue such as bone

He wound up in the hospital with a minor hip fracture and a shattered thumb.Unbroken
fragile

easily broken or damaged or destroyed

Bowls, if not too fragile, may with care be piled one within the other.Cox, George J.
fragility

the quality of being easily damaged or destroyed

And, naturally, all of us—in one way or another—fear our fragility, and the fact that life is fleeting and incredibly delicate.The New Yorker (Apr 24, 2017)
fragment

a piece broken off or cut off of something else

As always, the plaza area was littered with a thousand fragments of recently torn-up parking tickets that looked like muddy stars.The Milagro Beanfield War
fragmentation

the separation of something into pieces or particles

The fragmentation of the image is almost Cubist, allowing us to see the whole of Pryor’s performance only in parts.Los Angeles Times (Sep 20, 2015)
frangible

capable of being broken

A frangible bullet breaks into smaller pieces when it strikes an object harder than it.Salon (Feb 7, 2016)
infraction

a violation of a law or rule

At school in Taipei she was often punished for dress-code infractions: letting her hair hang past her earlobes or failing to wear school-issued white socks.New York Times (Apr 21, 2010)
refract

subject to change in direction of a propagating wave

Though no sunlight will fall directly on the moon, its surface will be illuminated by light rays that refract through Earth’s atmosphere.The Guardian (Sep 24, 2015)
refraction

the change in direction of a propagating wave

When a ray of light enters a material medium, it changes direction, in a phenomenon known as refraction.Scientific American (Jan 11, 2011)
refractory

stubbornly resistant to authority or control

Taxation is, in fact, the most difficult function of the government, and that against which their citizens are most apt to be refractory.Chinard, Gilbert

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