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metastable

Pronunciation: met'a-sta'bel

Definition:

  1. Of uncertain stability; in a condition to pass into another phase when slightly disturbed, water, when cooled below the freezing point may remain liquid but will immediately congeal if a piece of ice is added.
  2. Denoting the excited condition of the nucleus of a radionuclide isomer that reaches a lower energy state by the process of isomeric transition decay without changing its atomic number or weight; Tc ? Tc + ?.

[meta- + L. stabilis, stable]

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© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.
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