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degenerate


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Having quantum states with the same energy. For example, the five d-orbitals in an isolated transition-metal atom have the same energy (although they have different spatial arrangements) and are thus degenerate. The application of a magnetic or electric field may cause the quantum states to have different energies (see crystal-field theory). In this case, the degeneracy is said to be ‘lifted’.

Subjects: Chemistry.


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