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ground state

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noun Physics.
  1. the state of least energy of a particle, as an atom, or of a system of particles.

Origin of ground state

First recorded in 1925–30
Also called ground level.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for ground state

ground state

ground level

noun
  1. the lowest energy state of an atom, molecule, particle, etcCompare excited (def. 4)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

ground state in Medicine

ground state

n.
  1. The state of least possible energy in a physical system, as of atoms or molecules.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

ground state in Science

ground state

  1. The state of a physical system having the lowest possible potential energy. For example, an electron in the lowest energy orbital in a hydrogen atom is in a ground state. The ground state of a physical system tends to be stable unless energy is applied to it from the outside; states that are not the ground state have a tendency to revert to the ground state, giving off energy in the process. Compare excited state.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.