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What is Quantum? August 17, 2006

Posted by healthyself in Cell phone safety, Definitions.

From the Latin meaning “Amount”

The word quantum, pl. “quanta”, comes from the Latin “quantus”, for “how much”. In general, it refers to an “amount of something”.

The term is often used in the more specifically, as in in physics, where a quantum refers to an indivisible, and perhaps elementary entity; for instance, a “light quantum”, being a unit of light (that is, a photon).

In combinations like “quantum mechanics”, “quantum optics”, etc., it distinguishes a more specialized field of study


  • This is most simply, a small, discrete unit of energy: a packet of specific size; one photon of energy, one of the very small discrete packets into which many forms of energy are subdivided: the indivisible unit in which waves may be emitted or absorbed.
  • newton.physics.metu.edu.tr/~fizikt/html/hawking/l.html
  • The smallest ‘unit’ of energy. A quantum of light is called a photon or the smallest indivisible unit of radiant energy.
  • (physics) the smallest discrete quantity of some physical property that a system can possess (according to quantum theory)
  • An elemental unit of energy. Its energy value is hv, where h, Planck’s constant, is 6.62 × 10 -27 erg-second and v is the frequency of the vibrations or waves with which the energy is associated. cf photon.

  • www.fao.org/docrep/003/X3910E/X3910E20.htm
  • the specific orbits or velocities to which electrons are limited in the theory of Planck and Bohr.
  • 1. For certain physical properties such as energy or momentum, a fundamental unit such that the property appears in integer multiples of the unit.
  • 2. An elementary particle carrying one unit of the property. For example, the photon is the quantum of the electromagnetic field, carrying an energy equal to Planck’s contant times the frequency of the light and an angular momentum equal to a multiple of Planck’s constant divided by 2p.
  • If the magnitude of a quantity is always an integral multiple of a definite unit, then that unit is called the quantum of the electromagnetic field and the meson is considered to be the quantum of the nuclear field.

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