ground state

noun

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

From the ground state, the atom can go to the dark state or the bright state. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Following Schrödinger’s cat to its death and giving it a reprieve," 5 June 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 The other two are excited states, which also have a spin up and spin down separation, but are at a much higher energy than the ground states. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Straining a diamond makes silicon-based qubit behave," 20 Sep. 2018 There are two states that are almost at the same energy, called the ground state and the storage state. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Rough-and-ready quantum memory may link disparate quantum systems," 9 Nov. 2018 The ground state is where the atom normally resides. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Rough-and-ready quantum memory may link disparate quantum systems," 9 Nov. 2018 The result is that, on average, the atom is never quite in the ground state. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Single atoms sit still on a hot plate, may yield new quantum tech," 10 Sep. 2018 For both the excited states and the ground states, the energy difference between the two spin states is small enough that a sound vibration can flip the spin and change the qubit state. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Straining a diamond makes silicon-based qubit behave," 20 Sep. 2018 The state and energy are read out and used to contrive a new guess for the ground state configuration. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Quantum computers reach deeper, find ground state of simple hydrides," 14 Sep. 2017

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.

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First Known Use of ground state

1926, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

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The first known use of ground state was in 1926

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