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Related to quanta: quantum


Plural of quantum.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Atomic Physics) the plural of quantum
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈkwɒn təm)

n., pl. -ta (-tə),
adj. n.
1. quantity or amount: the least quantum of evidence.
2. share; portion.
3. a large quantity.
a. the smallest excitation of a quantized wave or field, as a photon or phonon.
b. the fundamental unit of a quantized physical property, as angular momentum, and the smallest amount by which its magnitude can change.
5. sudden and significant: a quantum increase in productivity.
[1610–20; Latin quantus how much]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Wherefore you shall observe, that the more deep and sober sort of politic persons, in their greataess, are ever bemoaning themselves, what a life they lead; chanting a quanta patimur!
* The theory of quanta suggests that the continuity is only apparent.
Gary Steele in Delft demonstrated the detection of photons or quanta of energy, the weakest signals allowed by the theory of quantum mechanics.
Their pioneering research revealed that atoms absorb and emit energy only in packets of discrete sizes, called quanta, and that light and matter can act as both waves and particles.