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.
any sudden and significant change, advance, or increase.
, quantum electronics
, quantum field theory
, quantum flavourdynamics
, quantum gravity
, quantum jump
, quantum leap
, quantum mechanics
, quantum meruit
, quantum number
, quantum optics
Origin of quantum jump
First recorded in 1925–30
Also called quantum leap.
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for quantum leap
a sudden highly significant advance; breakthrough
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
Science definitions for quantum leap
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.
Culture definitions 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
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.