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excited state




A state of an atom, molecule, or ion when the species has absorbed energy and become elevated ("excited") to a higher energy state as compared with the ground state. The excitation may be electronic, vibrational, rotational, etc. Excited states tend to have short lifetimes; they lose energy either through collisions or by emitting photons to "relax" back down to their ground states.


Related entry

   • excitation


Related category

   • ATOMIC AND NUCLEAR PHYSICS