ground state


Definition of ground state

: the state of a physical system (as of an atomic nucleus or an atom) having the least energy of all the possible states

called also ground level

Examples of ground state in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Eventually, those electrons will make their most energetic transition: to the ground state. Ethan Siegel, Forbes, 13 May 2021 The system transitions by passing through a mixture of the excited state and ground state, a quantum phenomenon known as superposition. Eleni Petrakou, Scientific American, 29 Dec. 2020 Nearly 20% of residents in the battle ground state are young people, among the highest rates in the country. Sarah Parvini, Los Angeles Times, 1 Nov. 2020 For the electron in hydrogen to be excited from the ground state (lowest energy level) to the next level would require light with a 122 nanometer wavelength. Rhett Allain, Wired, 26 Sep. 2020 Florida is Trump’s biggest battle ground state and Cubans make an import voting bloc for the president. Eileen Kelley,, 20 Sep. 2020 The fact that the ground state of the system was uniquely specified by that energy took care of the rest. Spyridon Michalakis, Scientific American, 1 Aug. 2020 In essence, the symmetry of the interaction is broken by the ground state. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, 30 Mar. 2020 Kentucky is a stand-your-ground state, which allows deadly force when someone is violently attacked. NBC News, 23 May 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of ground state

1926, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ground state

Time Traveler for ground state

Time Traveler

The first known use of ground state was in 1926

See more words from the same year

Statistics for ground state

Last Updated

27 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ground state.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on ground state Encyclopedia article about ground state


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!