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ground state

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

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Also called ground level .

Origin of ground state

First recorded in 1925–30
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use ground state in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ground state

ground state

ground level


noun
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

Scientific definitions for ground state

ground state

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.
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