Metastable



[met-uh-stey-buh l, met-uh-stey-] /ˈmɛt əˌsteɪ bəl, ˌmɛt əˈsteɪ-/

adjective
1.
Metallurgy. chemically unstable in the absence of certain conditions that would induce stability, but not liable to spontaneous transformation.
2.
Also, labile. Physics, Chemistry. pertaining to a body or system existing at an energy level (metastable state) above that of a more state and requiring the addition of a small amount of energy to induce a transition to the more state.
/ˌmɛtəˈsteɪbəl/
adjective
1.
(of a body or system) having a state of apparent equilibrium although capable of changing to a more stable state
2.
(of an atom, molecule, ion, or atomic nucleus) existing in an excited state with a relatively long lifetime
noun
3.
a metastable atom, ion, molecule, or nucleus

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