To bring two subcritical masses close together in order to find the edge of criticality.

Etymology:

  • From the obvious risk of tickling a dragon's tail. In physics, it was first used by Richard Feynman to describe the experiments of Louis Slotin at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
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The laboratory head tickles the dragon's tail whenever we have guests as a show of machismo.

Submitted on July 10, 2018

Additional definitions for 'tickle the dragon's tail':

tickle the dragon's tailTo do something that has a risk of going catastrophically wrong.
tickle the dragon's tailTo annoy an irritable person.
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Translation

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cosquillas en la cola del dragón

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    "tickle the dragon's tail." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 12 Apr. 2024. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/tickle-the-dragons-tail_26706>.

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