Quanta vs. Quantum - What's the difference?

Wikipedia

  • Quantum

    In physics, a quantum (plural: quanta) is the minimum amount of any physical entity (physical property) involved in an interaction. The fundamental notion that a physical property may be "quantized" is referred to as "the hypothesis of quantization". This means that the magnitude of the physical property can take on only discrete values consisting of integer multiples of one quantum. For example, a photon is a single quantum of light (or of any other form of electromagnetic radiation). Similarly, the energy of an electron bound within an atom is quantized and can exist only in certain discrete values. (Indeed, atoms and matter in general are stable because electrons can exist only at discrete energy levels within an atom.) Quantization is one of the foundations of the much broader physics of quantum mechanics. Quantization of energy and its influence on how energy and matter interact (quantum electrodynamics) is part of the fundamental framework for understanding and describing nature.

Wiktionary

  • Quanta (noun)

    plural of quantum

  • Quantum (noun)

    The total amount of something; quantity. from 17th c.

  • Quantum (noun)

    The amount or quantity observably present, or available. from 18th c.

  • Quantum (noun)

    The smallest possible, and therefore indivisible, unit of a given quantity or quantifiable phenomenon. from 20th c.

  • Quantum (noun)

    A definite portion of a manifoldness, limited by a mark or by a boundary.

  • Quantum (noun)

    A brief sentencing decision.

  • Quantum (noun)

    The amount of time allocated for a thread to perform its work in a multithreaded environment.

  • Quantum (adjective)

    Of a change, sudden or discrete, without intermediate stages.

  • Quantum (adjective)

    Of a change, significant.

  • Quantum (adjective)

    Involving quantum physics.

  • Quantum (adjective)

    Relating to a quantum computer.

Webster Dictionary

  • Quantum (noun)

    Quantity; amount.

  • Quantum (noun)

    A definite portion of a manifoldness, limited by a mark or by a boundary.

Princeton's WordNet

  • Quantum (noun)

    a discrete amount of something that is analogous to the quantum in quantum theory

  • Quantum (noun)

    (physics) the smallest discrete quantity of some physical property that a system can possess (according to quantum theory)

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