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quantum leap

quantum jump

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noun

a sudden highly significant advance; breakthrough

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Word Origin for quantum leap

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

Example sentences from the Web for quantum leap

Cultural definitions for quantum leap

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.)

notes for quantum leap

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.
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