A fracture is the (local) separation of an object or material into two, or more, pieces under the action of stress.
The word fracture is often applied to bones of living creatures (that is, a bone fracture), or to crystals or crystalline materials, such as gemstones or metal. Sometimes, in crystalline materials, individual crystals fracture without the body actually separating into two or more pieces. Depending on the substance which is fractured, a fracture reduces strength (most substances) or inhibits transmission of light (optical crystals).
A detailed understanding of how fracture occurs in materials may be assisted by the study of fracture mechanics.
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