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 Individual fragment are solved quantumly, then all the fragment solutions are recombined as the ground state for the molecule’s entirety. Paul Smith-goodson, Forbes, 8 June 2022 Since isomers are present in stars, nuclear reactions are different than if a material were in its ground state. Artemis Spyrou, The Conversation, 24 May 2022 To show that the qubits are actually useful, the researchers use their two-qubit setup to calculate the ground state energy of molecular hydrogen. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 19 Jan. 2022 The quasiparticles are expected to quickly lose energy and so won't be able to transfer enough to raise a qubit from its ground state to its excited state. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 14 Dec. 2021 But, in a stand-your-ground state such as Florida, Zimmerman had a lawful right to patrol the neighborhood near Martin’s home. Ronald Sullivan, The Conversation, 19 Nov. 2021 An array of lasers is used to cool the ion to its quantum ground state, where the momentum and position uncertainties of the ion are at their minimum. Anil Ananthaswamy, Scientific American, 21 Oct. 2021 In Aspelmeyer’s experiment, the particle was in its ground state 70% of the time on average. Quanta Magazine, 18 Aug. 2021 Eventually, those electrons will make their most energetic transition: to the ground state. Ethan Siegel, Forbes, 13 May 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of ground state

1926, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near ground state

ground staff

ground state

ground story

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for ground state

Last Updated

1 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ground state.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
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!