Word of the Week for the week of July 10, 2016


[KWON-tuh m]

Meaning & Usage

noun a number of objects that can be counted, i.e. a quantum of marbles.

There's an annual contest in math class to guess the quantum of pennies in a large jar. Whoever guesses closest to the actual amount wins a week with no homework.

noun In physics,the smallest unit of any kind of energy.

In physics class, though, you can't see into the quantum field: guessing the quantum energy in that jar might be like guessing the number of stars in the sky.


From Latin quantus (how much or how great). In physics, a quantum jump or quantum leap is usually a small change, while in popular usage the term is used to mean a significant change. Earliest documented use: 1567.

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