metastable equilibrium

metastable equilibrium

[¦med·ə′stā·bəl ‚ē·kwə′lib·rē·əm]
(physics)
A condition in which a system returns to equilibrium after small (but not large) displacements; it may be represented by a ball resting in a small depression on top of a hill.
(physical chemistry)
A state of pseudo-equilibrium having higher free energy than the true equilibrium state.
References in periodicals archive ?
30] measured volume change in an epoxy during structural recovery with asymmetric plasticizer jumps, the asymmetric jumps led to the epoxy aging to a new metastable equilibrium state, however with asymmetric temperature jumps the epoxy ages approaching the same equilibrium state as the quenched epoxy.
Nonetheless, a carefully determined phase diagram is still a useful representation of equilibrium, even though portions may represent metastable equilibrium.
3](Zr,X), which inhibits grain boundary motion, is included, it appears that this alloy in the highest strength condition may represent a metastable equilibrium between six phases.