tin whisker
 n.— «Tin whiskers, one-fortieth the diameter of a human hair, are causing intermittent performance problems in the Hughes AN/APG-63 radar used on the Air Force/McDonnell Douglas F-15 and could pose problems for other electronic systems. These whiskers, which grow spontaneously from the tin-plated lids of hybrid circuits, are typically 0.0001 in. in diameter and grow as long as 0.1 in. The whiskers eventually detach and fall into the active circuitry, causing intermittent operation.» —“Air Force Links Radar Problems To Growth of Tin Whiskers” by Bruce D. Norwall Aviation Week & Space Technology June 30, 1986. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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