One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Chiefly Metallurgy. The state of a substance designated by the term alpha.
2Psychology. A state in which the dominant rhythm of the brain's electrical activity is alpha waves; (hence) a state of extreme mental relaxation supposedly encountered when the brain is dominated by alpha waves.
Mid 19th century. From alpha + state.
alpha state/ˈalfə ˌsteɪt/
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