quantum theory

noun

Definition of quantum theory

1 : a theory in physics based on the concept of the subdivision of radiant energy into finite quanta and applied to numerous processes involving transference or transformation of energy in an atomic or molecular scale

Examples of quantum theory in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

That puzzle has vexed physicists since quantum theory emerged in the 1920s to explain the behavior of atoms and other infinitesimal things. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "Twist on ‘survival of the fittest’ could explain how reality emerges from the quantum haze," 12 Sep. 2019 The problem is that conventional quantum theory describes the state of a system in terms of a wave function, which evolves smoothly and deterministically according to the Schrödinger equation. Quanta Magazine, "Where Quantum Probability Comes From," 9 Sep. 2019 Modern quantum theories long ago did away with electric and magnetic fields as concrete structures and replaced them with a hard-to-interpret mathematical abstraction. George Musser, Scientific American, "The Search for Truth in Physics," 25 Aug. 2019 My private opinion is this: The quantum theory in its present form is a highly successful experiment, undertaken with inadequate means (concepts). Fox News, "God 'does not play dice with the universe,' Einstein writes in letter up for auction," 12 June 2019 Unlike Fuchs, Healey doesn't think that a description of physical reality is tucked inside quantum theory. George Musser, Scientific American, "The Search for Truth in Physics," 25 Aug. 2019 Information, however, could still eventually escape from such a modified horizon, appeasing quantum theory. Steve Nadis, Discover Magazine, "We've Found Gravitational Waves. What Will We Learn From Them?," 24 May 2019 This assumption of consistency argues that the predictions made by different agents using quantum theory are not contradictory. Wired, "A New Quantum Paradox Flags Errors in Our View of Reality," 9 Dec. 2018 This assertion by Alice necessitates another assumption about her use of quantum theory. Wired, "A New Quantum Paradox Flags Errors in Our View of Reality," 9 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'quantum theory.' 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 theory

1912, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

8 Oct 2019

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The first known use of quantum theory was in 1912

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More Definitions for quantum theory

quantum theory

noun

English Language Learners Definition of quantum theory

physics : a theory in physics that is based on the idea that energy (such as light) is made of small separate units of energy

quantum theory

noun

Medical Definition of quantum theory

: a theory in physics based on the concept of the subdivision of radiant energy into finite quanta and applied to numerous processes involving transference or transformation of energy in an atomic or molecular scale

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More from Merriam-Webster on quantum theory

Spanish Central: Translation of quantum theory

Nglish: Translation of quantum theory for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about quantum theory

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