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noun, Physics.
any of the energy levels of a physical system, especially an atom, molecule, etc., that has higher energy than the lowest energy level.

a condition of a physical system, esp. an atom, molecule, etc., in which it has higher energy than the lowest possible energy level; the condition of an atom or molecule after absorbing energy

Excited states tend to be short-lived as they lose energy through collisions or emissions and relax back to ground state.

excited state ex·cit·ed state (ĭk-sī’tĭd)
The condition of an atom or molecule after absorbing energy from exposure to light, electricity, elevated temperature, or a chemical reaction, and which may be a necessary prelude to a chemical reaction or to the emission of light.
excited state
A state of a physical system in which the system has more than the minimum possible potential energy. Excited states tend to be unstable and easily or spontaneously revert to lower energy states, giving off energy. Compare ground state.


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