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when an electron is said to be in its excited state it has been "energized" and gone up to a particular shell, higher than the one it was originally at. Something that is in its ground state then it has either gone back down from being excited or there wasn't any source of energy and this is just naturally where the electron lies.
Excited state atoms absorb energy and are promoted to higher energy levels, making them unstable. This means they experience an increase in the electron shell they occupy. Ground state electrons are just electrons that have not been excited.
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