Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

quantum jump

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. Physics. an abrupt transition of a system described by quantum mechanics from one of its discrete states to another, as the fall of an electron in an atom to an orbit of lower energy.
  2. any sudden and significant change, advance, or increase.

Origin of quantum jump

First recorded in 1925–30
Also called quantum leap.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for quantum leap

quantum leap

quantum jump

noun
  1. a sudden highly significant advance; breakthrough

Word Origin

C20: from its use in physics meaning the sudden jump of an electron, atom, etc from one energy level to another
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

quantum leap in Science

quantum jump

  1. A change from one quantum state to another, as when an electron orbiting a nucleus moves from one shell to another with the loss or gain of a quantum of energy.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

quantum leap in Culture

quantum leap

In physics, the movement of an electron from one orbit in an atom to another, sending out or taking on a photon in the process. (See Bohr atom.)

Note

Informally, a “quantum leap” may be any great, sudden, or discontinuous change.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with quantum leap

quantum leap

A dramatic advance, especially in knowledge or method, as in Establishing a central bank represents a quantum leap in this small country's development. This term originated as quantum jump in the mid-1900s in physics, where it denotes a sudden change from one energy state to another within an atom. Within a decade it was transferred to other advances, not necessarily sudden but very important ones.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

  • About
  • Cookies, Terms, & Privacy
© 2018 Dictionary.com, LLC.