Definition of quantum in English:

quantum

noun

  • 1Physics
    A discrete quantity of energy proportional in magnitude to the frequency of the radiation it represents.

    • ‘This excess energy is emitted in quanta of electromagnetic radiation (photons of light) that have exactly same energy as the difference in energy between the orbits jumped by the electron.’
    • ‘Electrons move from one orbital into another by absorbing or emitting a quantum of energy, just as Bohr explained.’
    • ‘As they moved closer to the nucleus, the electrons would begin emitting their quanta of energy as light.’
    • ‘Bohr realized that the idea of a quantum of energy could explain how the electrons in the atom are arranged.’
    • ‘To drop from a higher to a lower, it emitted a quantum of energy.’
    1. 1.1 An analogous discrete amount of any other physical quantity, such as momentum or electric charge.
      • ‘Information refers primarily to facts, discrete quanta of information that can be transmitted through simple communication in relatively complete form and without loss of integrity.’
      • ‘These symmetries tie together particles usually considered constituents of matter (like quarks and electrons) with the quanta of forces (like photons and gluons).’
      • ‘Light bullets are the quanta of the electromagnetic field and are known as photons.’
      • ‘The asymmetry of water and ozone molecules causes the moments of inertia that govern the quanta of rotational motion to be different in each spatial direction.’
      • ‘A second problem also led to a quantum theory of light, and this time to a belief in the physical reality of the quanta.’
    2. 1.2Physiology The unit quantity of acetylcholine released at a neuromuscular junction by a single synaptic vesicle, contributing a discrete small voltage to the measured end-plate potential.
      • ‘What fraction of receptors are saturated following the release of a single quantum, and is a larger synapse, with more receptors less saturated than a smaller one?’
      • ‘In the crayfish leg extensor preparation, the number of quanta released per action potential (quantal content) was approximately 15, at low frequencies of stimulation.’
      • ‘Responses ensuing from the spontaneous release of single quanta are termed miniature excitatory junctional currents (mEJCs).’
      • ‘The saturation of receptors at a single central synapse by a quantum of neurotransmitter is the subject of much controversy.’
      • ‘A second result of significance is that the size of the quantum is the same for release and for stretch.’
  • 2A required or allowed amount, especially an amount of money legally payable in damages.

    • ‘How is the quantum of user damages to be assessed?’
    • ‘The dispute is as to the nature of the work that would be required to put the premises into that condition, and as to the quantum of the damage suffered by the claimant by reason of the breaches of those covenants.’
    • ‘It points out at line 15 that the first matter to be determined on an application under the section is: the quantum of common law damages which would have been recoverable had they been sued for.’
    • ‘The parties agreed the Minutes of Settlement would be filed with the court and that the court would be asked to stipulate, in any reasons for judgment, the agreement as to the quantum of damages.’
    • ‘The other issue is the quantum of spousal support payable from the respondent to the applicant.’
    • ‘In effect, Dr. Rosen did not give a report on the quantum of damages suffered by the plaintiff.’
    • ‘If the plaintiff proved that he had lost a real or substantial chance as opposed to a speculative one the evaluation of that chance was part of the assessment of the quantum of damage.’
    • ‘We also require details of the quantum of the claim including a breakdown of the elements of the costs and how they have been incurred.’
    • ‘The authorities give judges no help in directing juries on the quantum of exemplary damages.’
    • ‘That judgment reflected a reduction in the agreed quantum of damages suffered by the plaintiff.’
    • ‘Counsel for the plaintiffs submits that the quantum of damages should be assessed in the amount of $20,000.00 for each of the plaintiffs.’
    • ‘Assessing his prospects of success in those claims and the quantum of any damages requires many of the underlying issues to be tested or tried.’
    • ‘It would just be a case where an issue of liability has been determined; the quantum of the damage has not.’
    • ‘Counsel for the Defendants denies liability and contests the quantum of damages.’
    • ‘The quantum of support requires a finding as to the income of the Respondent.’
    • ‘Courriere denies the plaintiff's allegations and disputes the quantum of damages in his statement of defence.’
    • ‘The agreement reached is akin to the kind of agreement frequently reached in litigation where a defendant accepts liability but not causation of damage nor the quantum of the loss claimed.’
    • ‘It follows that the quantum of damages in private nuisance does not depend on the number of those enjoying the land in question.’
    • ‘Under Bill 164 the only issue is the quantum of general damages in light of his injuries.’
    • ‘The precise quantum of the damages was a relatively minor point in this action and should not be difficult to resolve.’
    amount, proportion, quantity, bulk, total, quota
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    1. 2.1 A share or portion.
      ‘each man has only a quantum of compassion’
      • ‘During the current year, the Zone's quantum of exports has grown 30 per cent to touch nearly Rs.225 crores.’
      • ‘You would need to go the second step and, in addition, you would need to know the quantum of the shares.’
      • ‘If at all some relief is to be given to marginal farmers, the quantum of free power and/or the land holdings must be specified.’
      • ‘Most of the residents of the area are now keen on setting up vermi compost and aerobic compost units on their premises, which reduce the quantum of garbage that is pushed out into the general pool of city waste.’
      • ‘‘We expect to increase the quantum of shrimp exports in future,’ he said.’
      • ‘The quantum of storage allocated to the user must be increased or decreased as usage changes, and these real-locations must be transparent to the application.’
      • ‘The quantum and the interest rate are not known, according to sources in the banking industry.’
      • ‘In the same article he takes the definition of a ‘ration’ from the New Shorter Oxford Dictionary as a fixed quantum of health care per person.’
      • ‘Its next best performance was in 1998 when the quantum of floodwater released touched a high of 10 lakh cusecs.’
      • ‘In an obvious departure from Dickens these stores always included quanta of Americana.’
      • ‘Acknowledgement represents the smallest quantum of human interaction.’
      • ‘The quantum of interest rates we appear to be looking at I think is already factored into the market, " Hughes-Hallett said.’
      • ‘In the meanwhile, the quantum of water released to the Indira Gandhi Canal was also increased, he said.’
      • ‘Haryana has a sense of grievance at the non-completion of the SYL canal and the consequent non-availability of the quantum of waters allocated to it.’
      portion, part, division, bit, quota, allowance, ration, allocation, allotment, lot, measure, due
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Origin

Mid 16th century (in the general sense quantity): from Latin, neuter of quantus (see quantity). Sense 1 dates from the early 20th century.

Pronunciation:

quantum

/ˈkwän(t)əm/