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Quantum leap

Posted by Smokey Stover on November 24, 2005

In Reply to: Quantum leap posted by ML 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