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 Thanks to the uncertainties inherent in quantum mechanics, its interior roils with countless gluons and quark-antiquark pairs that flit in and out of existence too quickly to be directly observed. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "Department of Energy picks New York over Virginia for site of new particle collider," 9 Jan. 2020 Objects like the singularity are explained by quantum mechanics. Maria Paula Rubiano, Popular Science, "What would happen if you fell into a black hole?," 2 Jan. 2020 Yet scientists have speculated for years about the possibility that phonons might impart heat across a vacuum, enamored by the mind-boggling fact that quantum mechanics dictates space can never be truly empty. Charles Q. Choi, Scientific American, "Space Heater: Scientists Find New Way to Transfer Energy Through a Vacuum," 11 Dec. 2019 Thanks to quantum mechanics, each ion can spin both up and down at the same time, and the time crystal is similar to the state in which all the particles spin up and down at the same time—except a lot more complicated. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "Back to the future: The original time crystal makes a comeback," 27 Nov. 2019 The results announced Wednesday herald the rise of quantum computers, which can store and process much more information than their classical cousins by tapping into the powerful forces contained in the field of physics known as quantum mechanics. Charles Riley, CNN, "Google claims its quantum computer can do the impossible in 200 seconds," 23 Oct. 2019 General relativity and quantum mechanics pose many questions that have yet to be answered. The Christian Science Monitor, "A life overflowing with meaning," 8 Nov. 2019 The neat agreement between experiment and quantum mechanics is a never-ending source of amazement to me. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Quantum mechanics gets stern challenge from single silicon ion," 8 Nov. 2019 With this new freedom, T2 taps into a many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, where actions in the past create various futures. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "Causality Loops and Terminator’s 35-Year Struggle to Make Time Travel Convincing," 2 Nov. 2019

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

13 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Quantum mechanics.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quantum%20mechanics. Accessed 20 January 2020.

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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

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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