the condition in which a physical system exists, usually described by a wave function or a set of quantum numbers.
Origin of quantum state
First recorded in 1920–25
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
physics a state of a system characterized by a set of quantum numbers and represented by an eigenfunction. The energy of each state is precise within the limits imposed by the uncertainty principle but may be changed by applying a field of force. States that have the same energy are called degenerateSee also energy level
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
A description in quantum mechanics of a physical system or part of a physical system. Different quantum states for a physical system show discrete differences in the value of the variables used to define the state. For example, the spin of an isolated electron can take on one of only two values; there are no other quantum states available for the electron and no intermediate values, since spin is quantized. The quantum state is sometimes described by a set of quantum numbers that pick out the appropriate values for describing the state.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.