A quantum leap

12Oct08

Just a quick one. People seem to think that a quantum leap is a sudden and large stride forward in a certain field of understanding. Yet an actual quantum leap is a completely different beast; according to John Gribbin in Almost Everyone’s Guide to Science a quantum has two distinct features.

When an electron in a high energy state (excited) has a choice of two or more lower energy levels, it chooses randomly.

The second is that the jump, or leap, is very tiny.

Therefore a quantum leap is actually a very small change made entirely at random. The only similarity between the saying and the scientific term is that the change is instantaneous, it’s a change from one thing to another with nothing happening in between.

Check out some wikipedia action for more -> quantum leap.

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