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In physics , a quantum (from the Latin quantum , 'how big', 'how much') is an object that is created by a change of state in a system with discrete values ​​of a physical quantity . Quantized quantities are described in the context of quantum mechanics and sub-areas of theoretical physics inspired by it, such as quantum electrodynamics . Quanta can only ever appear in certain portions of this physical quantity, they are therefore the quantization of these quantities.

The term quant

The physical term quantum is often associated with a particle character of the size under consideration. However, this is only part of the real meaning of the term. An example of a quantum that cannot be ascribed a particle character is the angular momentum quantum .

As a physical term, quantum is not used to denote the atomic structure of matter , although here, too, a smallest unit of quantity (quantization) occurs.



Jürgen Audretsch: Entangled World Fascination of the Quanta , Wiley-VCh, Weinheim 2002, ISBN 3-527-40318-3

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Wiktionary: Quant  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations