quantum

noun
quan·tum | \ ˈkwän-təm \
plural quanta\ˈkwän-tə \

Definition of quantum 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : quantity, amount

b : portion, part

c : gross quantity : bulk

2a : any of the very small increments or parcels into which many forms of energy are subdivided

b : any of the small subdivisions of a quantized physical magnitude (such as magnetic moment)

quantum

adjective

Definition of quantum (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : large, significant a quantum improvement

2 : of, relating to, or employing the principles of quantum mechanics quantum physics

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Synonyms for quantum

Synonyms: Noun

amount, measure, quantity, volume

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Examples of quantum in a Sentence

Noun

the sum of human knowledge is now so immense that even a highly educated person can hope to absorb only a tiny quantum of it

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Big Bang is thought to have been triggered by a random fluctuation in what physicists call the quantum foam, a maelstrom of virtual particles that pop into and out of existence. Dan Falk /, NBC News, "What is the multiverse?," 22 May 2018 Areas like chips, artificial intelligence and quantum computing will undergo particular scrutiny, and might become off limits to Chinese investors. The Economist, "The challenger," 15 Mar. 2018 Through quantum processes, particles can leak through the surface of a black hole, creating an outward streaming swarm causing a black hole to glow — or even explode. Brian Greene, Time, "How Stephen Hawking Helped Redefine the Rules of Reality," 15 Mar. 2018 All relevant matters were taken into account when determining the quantum of the settlement. SI.com, "Bournemouth Agree Settlement Fee With EFL Following Breach Of Financial Fair Play," 5 July 2018 According to Mordechai Segev, a professor of physics at Technion Israel Institute of Technology, a functional, accurate quantum computer would need to consist of about 2,000 quantum bits. Rachel Gutman, The Atlantic, "Could Quantum Computing Be the End of Free Will?," 30 June 2018 Taylor and Wagner defended the agreement as a quantum improvement over what the city currently collects in taxes on the site, now a parking lot at Truman Road and Grand Boulevard. Bill Turque, kansascity, "With misgivings, KC Council approves tax breaks for Three Light," 21 June 2018 Rather, in the TSVF one can gain retrospective knowledge of what happened in a quantum system by selecting the outcome: Instead of simply measuring where a particle ends up, a researcher chooses a particular location in which to look for it. Philip Ball, Scientific American, "Quantum Physics May Be Even Spookier Than You Think," 21 May 2018 China is making the choices of investments in cyber, AI, 5G, quantum computing. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full video and transcript: U.S. Senator Mark Warner at Code 2018," 30 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Stephen Hawking discovered that, thanks to a phenomenon known as quantum tunneling, black holes could actually produce a tiny bit of radiation, which would come to be known as Hawking radiation. Marcus Woo, Scientific American, "Gravitational “Echoes” Could Reveal Colliding Wormholes," 19 June 2018 According to Mordechai Segev, a professor of physics at Technion Israel Institute of Technology, a functional, accurate quantum computer would need to consist of about 2,000 quantum bits. Rachel Gutman, The Atlantic, "Could Quantum Computing Be the End of Free Will?," 30 June 2018 This suggests string theory constitutes at least a step towards a theory of quantum gravity. Alexander Hellemans, Scientific American, "A Conversation with Thomas Hertog, One of Stephen Hawking’s Final Collaborators," 24 May 2018 Some elements of Rovelli’s narrative, like the material on light cones and loop quantum gravity and spin networks, many readers will find incomprehensible. Alan Lightman, New York Times, "Benedict Cumberbatch Meets Albert Einstein in Carlo Rovelli’s New Audiobook," 14 May 2018 So the quantum measurement engine, while efficient, does its job slowly. Adrian Cho, Science | AAAS, "Quantum measurements could power a tiny, hyper-efficient engine," 10 July 2018 Ant-Man is getting ready to head back to the Quantum Realm to snag some quantum energy for their new friend (and former foe) Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen). Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Spoilers! How 'Ant-Man and the Wasp's end-credits scenes set up 'Avengers 4'," 7 July 2018 There’s talk of tardigrade fields and time vortexes, and Laurence Fishburne delivers a technically sound lecture on something called quantum decoherence. New York Times, "The Science (and the Scientists) Behind ‘Ant-Man’," 6 July 2018 Hank builds a tunnel for quantum realm spousal extraction, and Scott/Ant-Man’s the man for the plan. Michael Phillips, kansascity, "‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’: With Paul Rudd, here’s one infestation we can get behind," 5 July 2018

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

Noun

1567, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1942, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for quantum

Noun

Latin, neuter of quantus how much

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Statistics for quantum

Last Updated

11 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for quantum

The first known use of quantum was in 1567

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More Definitions for quantum

quantum

noun

English Language Learners Definition of quantum

 (Entry 1 of 2)

physics : the smallest amount of many forms of energy (such as light)

quantum

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of quantum (Entry 2 of 2)

physics : of, relating to, or using the principles of quantum theory

quantum

noun
quan·tum | \ ˈkwänt-əm \
plural quanta\ˈkwänt-ə \

Medical Definition of quantum 

1 : one of the very small increments or parcels into which many forms of energy are subdivided a molecule of rhodopsin in the human eye can cause a response to a single quantum of light

2 : one of the small molecular packets of a neurotransmitter (as acetylcholine) released into the synaptic cleft in the transmission of a nerve impulse across a synapse

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Comments on quantum

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