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1. An external force, or other input, applied to a system that causes the system to respond in some way. Also called stimulus. </dd>
2. The increase in the internal energy of an atomic or molecular system caused by a collision with another particle of greater energy. </dd>
For atoms in a discharge, excitation usually refers to increasing the energy level of a bound electron. </dd>

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This article is based on NASA's Dictionary of Technical Terms for Aerospace Use

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