phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Lament from the anthill

Posted by Bob on November 24, 2005

In Reply to: Re: Quantum leap posted by Smokey Stover on November 24, 2005

: : If quantum physics concern "small things", why is the term quantum leap mean a huge leap?

: If you are by any chance thinking of the TV show, "quantum leap" means an abrupt change of one state to another without any observable transition. This is obviously a transferred or figurative use of the concept of the same name in particle physics or quantum mechanics. From the OED: "quantum increase, a sudden large increase; cf. quantum jump; quantum jump, an abrupt transition between one stationary state of a quantized system and another, with the absorption or emission of a quantum; also transf., a sudden large increase or advance; quantum leap, a sudden large advance; cf. quantum jump...." I trust this is helpful. SS

Ah. I think I get it::

Oh, fellow ants, behold my chum,
Crushed to death by falling crumb.
That giant man who did the deed
Was not aware He paid no heed.
So small for him, so big for me,
A question of relativity.
A tiny harm, so very quantum,
Still huge for me. Don't wantum.