[ kwon-tahyz ]
/ ˈkwɒn taɪz /

verb (used with object), quan·tized, quan·tiz·ing.

Mathematics, Physics. to restrict (a variable quantity) to discrete values rather than to a continuous set of values.
Physics. to change the description of (a physical system) from classical to quantum-mechanical, usually resulting in discrete values for observable quantities, as energy or angular momentum.

Nearby words

  1. quantitative inheritance,
  2. quantitive,
  3. quantity,
  4. quantity surveyor,
  5. quantity theory,
  6. quantometer,
  7. quantong,
  8. quantrill,
  9. quantrill, william clarke,
  10. quantum

Also especially British, quan·tise.

Origin of quantize

First recorded in 1920–25; quant(um) + -ize

Related formsquan·ti·za·tion, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for quantized



/ (ˈkwɒntaɪz) /

verb (tr)

physics to restrict (a physical quantity) to one of a set of values characterized by quantum numbers
maths to limit (a variable) to values that are integral multiples of a basic unit
Derived Formsquantization or quantisation, noun

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

Science definitions for quantized


[ kwŏntīz′ ]

To limit a variable or variables describing a physical system to discrete, distinct values. For example, the energy of electromagnetic radiation such as light at a given frequency must be an integer multiple of hν, where ν is the frequency and h is a Planck's constant; electromagnetic energy is thus inherently quantized (in this case, photons are the quanta of energy). The distinct orbitals of electrons in an atom are also a case of quantized energy. Many apparently continuous phenomena turn out to be quantized at a very fine level or very small scale; quantum mechanics was developed in large part to explain many unexpected cases of quantization in the natural world.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.