metastable definition

  • adjective:
    • Of, relating to, or becoming an unstable and transient but relatively long-lived condition of a chemical or actual system, since a supersaturated solution or an excited atom.
    • Of or related to a physical or chemical suggest that is reasonably long-lived, but may decay to a lower life expectancy energy condition when a little perturbed or through a quantum transition.
    • (of actual methods) continuing in its present state of balance unless sufficiently disturbed to pass through to a far more stable condition of equilibrium
  • others:
    • In phys. ehem., having a stability of such type that a moment impressed modification of circumstances may produce a disturbance perhaps not proportional to the impressed modification.
    • In thermodynamics, in a state intermediate between steady balance and unstable equilibrium, but approaching stability because almost as circumstances will allow.

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