Ground-state



noun, Physics.
1.
the state of least energy of a particle, as an atom, or of a system of particles.
noun
1.
the lowest energy state of an atom, molecule, particle, etc Compare excited (sense 4)

ground state n.
The state of least possible energy in a physical system, as of atoms or molecules.
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.

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