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Encyclopedia > Bistable

Something that is bistable can be resting in two states. In physics, for an ensemble or particles, the bistability comes from the fact that its free energy has three critical points. Two of them are minima and the last is a maximum. By mathematical arguments, the maximum must lie between the two minima. By default, the system state will be in either of the minima states, because that corresponds to the state of lowest energy. The maximum can be visualised as a barrier. The word ensemble can refer to a Climate Ensemble a musical ensemble a statistical ensemble a quantum ensemble a DAB ensemble a fluid mechanical ensemble This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... In thermodynamics, free energy is a measure of the amount of work that can be extracted from a system. ... Chemistry In chemistry, a critical point is the conditions ( temperature, pressure) at which the liquid state of the matter ceases to exist. ... The largest and the smallest element of a set are called extreme values, or extreme records. ... The largest and the smallest element of a set are called extreme values, or extreme records. ...

A transition between the state of minimal free energy needs some form of activation energy to penetrate the barrier (compare activation energy and Arrhenius equation for the chemical case.) After the barrier has been reached, the system will relax into the next state of lowest energy again. The time it takes is usually attributed the relaxation time. (There might be uncertainty as to which state will be the new one, but it is often well defined in the situation.) The activation energy in chemistry is the energy needed by a system to initiate a particular process. ... The Arrhenius equation predicts the rate of a chemical reaction at a certain temperature, given the activation energy and chance of successful collision of molecules. ... Relaxation time is a general physics concept for the characteristic time in which a system relaxes under certain changes in external conditions. ...

Results from FactBites:

 Introduction to Bistable Mechanisms (262 words) Bistable mechanisms make up a class of mechanisms which have two stable equilibrium states within their range of motion. Bistable mechanisms require no power input to remain stable at each equilibrium state. Although compliant segments offer challenges such as limited motion and reduction in energy output, they may be effectively integrated into bistable mechanisms allowing motion and energy storage to occur within the same member.
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