1 (in metallurgy) The rapid cooling of a metal by immersing it in a bath of liquid in order to improve its properties. Steels are quenched to make them harder but some nonferrous metals are quenched for other reasons (copper, for example, is made softer by quenching).
2 (in physics) The process of inhibiting a continuous discharge in a Geiger counter so that the incidence of further ionizing radiation can cause a new discharge. This is achieved by introducing a quenching vapour, such as methane mixed with argon or with neon, into the tube.
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