Definition of quantum mechanics

: a theory of matter that is based on the concept of the possession of wave properties by elementary particles, that affords a mathematical interpretation of the structure and interactions of matter on the basis of these properties, and that incorporates within it quantum theory and the uncertainty principle

called also wave mechanics

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Other Words from quantum mechanics

quantum mechanical adjective
quantum mechanically adverb

Examples of quantum mechanics in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That paradox distills the fundamental conflict between general relativity and quantum mechanics, the two great pillars of 20th-century physics. Quanta Magazine, "In Violation of Einstein, Black Holes Might Have ‘Hair’," 11 Feb. 2021 The world's great scientific theories do it, too — from Darwin's evolution to the theory of electromagnetism to quantum mechanics tying together matter and light. Faye Flam, Star Tribune, "Social media is fertile soil for conspiracy," 2 Feb. 2021 So don’t count on instantly mastering quantum mechanics—or helicopter flight or martial arts, like Neo in The Matrix—by means of a brain implant any time soon. John Horgan, Scientific American, "Premature Freak-Outs about Techno-Enhancement," 23 Jan. 2021 After more than 100 years, no one has figured out how to reconcile general relativity with the other great pillar of 20th century physics: quantum mechanics. Matthew Pillsbury, Travel, "Time travel for travelers? It’s tricky.," 28 Dec. 2020 Or the inequalities will be violated, as quantum mechanics predicts. Quanta Magazine, "A New Theorem Maps Out the Limits of Quantum Physics," 3 Dec. 2020 In standard quantum mechanics, the act of observation causes this wave function to randomly collapse to one of many possible states. Anil Ananthaswamy, Scientific American, "Do We Live in a Simulation? Chances Are about 50–50," 13 Oct. 2020 Newtonian physics, once thought to govern the entire natural world, turned out to collapse at the infinitesimal scale, where the probabilistic features of quantum mechanics take over. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Why I never ‘agree to disagree’ — I just tell you you’re wrong," 22 Dec. 2020 Encryption rooted in quantum mechanics is theoretically unbreakable, although in practice it could still be subverted. Tom Simonite, Wired, "China Stakes Its Claim to Quantum Supremacy," 3 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'quantum mechanics.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of quantum mechanics

1922, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for quantum mechanics

Time Traveler

The first known use of quantum mechanics was in 1922

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Statistics for quantum mechanics

Last Updated

28 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Quantum mechanics.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quantum%20mechanics. Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for quantum mechanics

quantum mechanics

noun

English Language Learners Definition of quantum mechanics

physics : a branch of physics that deals with the structure and behavior of very small pieces of matter

quantum mechanics

noun plural but singular or plural in construction

Medical Definition of quantum mechanics

: a theory of matter that is based on the concept of the possession of wave properties by elementary particles, that affords a mathematical interpretation of the structure and interactions of matter on the basis of these properties, and that incorporates within it quantum theory and the uncertainty principle

called also wave mechanics

Other Words from quantum mechanics

quantum mechanical adjective
quantum mechanically adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on quantum mechanics

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about quantum mechanics

Comments on quantum mechanics

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