Relaxation stands quite generally for a release of tension, a return to equilibrium.

In the sciences, the term is used in the following ways:

  • Relaxation (physics), and more in particular:
    • Relaxation (NMR), processes by which nuclear magnetization returns to the equilibrium distribution
    • Dielectric relaxation, the delay in the dielectric constant of a material
    • Vibrational energy relaxation, the process by which molecules in high energy quantum states return to the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution.
    • Chemical relaxation methods - see Relaxation (physics) and also Temperature jump

In mathematics:

  • Relaxation (approximation), a technique for transforming hard constraints into easier ones
  • Relaxation (iterative method), a technique for the numerical solution of equations
  • Relaxation (extension method), a technique for a natural extension in mathematical optimization or variational problems

In computer science:

  • Relaxation, the act of substituting alternative program code during linking

In physiology, hypnosis, meditation, recreation:

  • Relaxation technique, an activity that helps a person to relax
  • Relaxed in Flow (psychology), a state of arousal, flow, over-learned self-control and relaxation
  • Relaxation (psychology), the emotional state of low tension

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"Better by far to embrace the hard truth than a reassuring fable."
Carl Sagan
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