age of Python programmers
jeff at ccvcorp.com
Fri Aug 20 22:45:55 CEST 2004
Tim Hochberg wrote:
> Reid Nichol wrote:
>> You're aware that a quantum leap means a extremely small leap, right?
> While quanta are typically very-very-very small, last I checked the
> key feature of quantum transitions is not that they're small, but that
> there are no intermediate steps. The object is in state A then it's in
> state B, but it's never halfway (or anywhere) between. Like most
> quantum stuff it's better not to think about that too closely.
And let's note, here, that "quantum" is not by any means restricted to
the domain of quantum-mechanical physics. It's true that, within that
domain, quanta are almost always a very small amount. But, as Tim says,
the important feature of a quantum is that it's the smallest possible
change of a given measurement, and implies a discrete (rather than
continuum) underpinning to that measurement. It just so happens that
the most well-known and talked-about quantum domains are related to
subatomic physics, where the quanta involved are indeed very very small;
but there's no /a priori/ restriction of quanta to apply only in that field.
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