Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
A sudden or important change or improvement. That brand-new shopping center is a quantum jump from the old, run-down mall that used to be in that location.
A sudden or important change or improvement. Gary's new job in upper management is a quantum leap forward from his old position at the factory.
A dramatic advance, especially in knowledge or method, as in Establishing a central bank represents a quantum leap in this small country's development. This term originated as quantum jump in the mid-1900s in physics, where it denotes a sudden change from one energy state to another within an atom. Within a decade it was transferred to other advances, not necessarily sudden but very important ones.
a quantum leap
A quantum leap is a very great and sudden increase in the size, amount, or quality of something. The vaccine represents a quantum leap in healthcare. The scale of migration took a quantum leap in the early 1970s. Note: People sometimes say a quantum jump with the same meaning. We want a quantum jump in exports.
quantum leapa sudden large increase or advance.
A literal quantum leap is the abrupt transition of an electron, atom, or molecule from one quantum state to another.
a quantum ˈleap(also a quantum ˈjump less frequent) a sudden very large increase, advance or improvement in something: This latest research represents a quantum leap in our understanding of the universe. ♢ The quantum leap in writing technology came with the introduction of personal computers.
In physics, a quantum jump is a sudden change in a physical quality such as energy from one fixed level to another.
A sudden, spectacular advance. The term comes from nuclear physics, where a quantum leap is an abrupt transition from one energy state to another within the submicroscopic atom. William Safire pointed out that while scientists emphasize the suddenness and discontinuity of such a change, the figurative term emphasizes the size of the advance. The term was used in physics from about 1950 and began to be transferred (at first in the form of quantum jump) to other events about 1955.