excited state


Definition of excited state

: a state of a physical system (such as an atomic nucleus, an atom, or a molecule) that is higher in energy than the ground state

Examples of excited state in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Thorium-229 is special among isotopes because of the extremely low energy of its lowest excited state, meaning it’s the best candidate for a measurable standard that can be used to make a practical clock. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Are Now One Step Closer to a Nuclear Clock," 12 Oct. 2020 All the excess electrons knock the plasma molecules into an excited state, which then emit photons to produce that telltale glow. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "How “St. Elmo’s fire” could help protect aircraft from lightning strikes," 20 Aug. 2020 Related Stories Several years ago, researchers began to make these diodes using copper in a similar excited state to the way precious metals work in PHOLEDs. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "We Might Have Just Found the Next Great Lighting Material," 5 May 2020 Our current understanding of the triple-alpha process largely came from astronomer Fred Hoyle, who famously predicted, in 1954, that a special excited state of carbon-12 must arise during synthesis . Ling Xin, Scientific American, "Carbon Conundrum: Experiment Aims to Re-create Synthesis of Key Element," 19 Mar. 2020 By choosing the energy of the protons correctly, Beryllium in a particular excited state is produced, which quickly decays back to its ground state by emitting an electron and a positron. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "New boson appears in nuclear decay, breaks standard model," 20 Dec. 2019 The atoms in the Harvard machine serve as qubits, their on-off states being either the ground state or an excited state called a Rydberg state. Quanta Magazine, "Quantum Machine Appears to Defy Universe’s Push for Disorder," 20 Mar. 2019 To get around this problem, Devoret and colleagues employ a clever trick involving a second excited state. Philip Ball, WIRED, "Physicists See a Quantum Leap, Halt It, and Reverse It," 9 June 2019 Devoret and colleagues wanted to watch a single artificial atom jump between its lowest-energy (ground) state and an energetically excited state. Philip Ball, WIRED, "Physicists See a Quantum Leap, Halt It, and Reverse It," 9 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'excited state.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of excited state

1927, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of excited state was in 1927

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Last Updated

25 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Excited state.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/excited%20state. Accessed 26 Nov. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on excited state

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about excited state

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