Fr.: mer de Fermi
A large aggregate of single-state → fermions of lowest energy. When the temperature is lowered to absolute zero, all electrons in solids attempt to get into the lowest available energy level. However, electrons cannot all occupy the lowest energy, or ground state, in virtue of the → Pauli exclusion principle. They stack up in the lowest energy states, with two fermions in each state, one spin up and one spin down. Such assemblage of filled states is called the Fermi "sea," and this state of matter is called → degenerate. All states with energy less than the Fermi energy are filled, and all states above the Fermi energy are empty.