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quantum mechanics

noun, Physics.
a theory of the mechanics of atoms, molecules, and other physical systems that are subject to the uncertainty principle.
Abbreviation: QM.
Origin of quantum mechanics
Related forms
quantum-mechanical, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for quantum mechanics
  • quantum mechanics was merely a calculational technique that was not well understood as a physical theory.
  • Teleportation was long considered impossible because it violates the so-called uncertainty principle of quantum mechanics.
  • According to quantum mechanics, electrons don't have well-defined orbits around atoms, as the planets do around the sun.
  • One of the fundamental tenets of quantum mechanics is that measuring a physical system always disturbs it.
  • quantum mechanics made fascinating for readers who'd rather skip the mathematical complexities.
  • Even by the standards of quantum mechanics, this is surprising.
  • No area of physics stimulates more nonsense in the public arena than quantum mechanics-and with good reason.
  • Lasers are usually thought of as bright beams of light that rely on quantum mechanics to work.
  • But in quantum mechanics, you can take all three of these routes simultaneously.
  • The film draws on quantum mechanics' many worlds theory.
British Dictionary definitions for quantum mechanics

quantum mechanics

(functioning as sing) the branch of mechanics, based on the quantum theory used for interpreting the behaviour of elementary particles and atoms, which do not obey Newtonian mechanics
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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quantum mechanics in Science
quantum mechanics  
A fundamental theory of matter and energy that explains facts that previous physical theories were unable to account for, in particular the fact that energy is absorbed and released in small, discrete quantities (quanta), and that all matter displays both wavelike and particlelike properties, especially when viewed at atomic and subatomic scales. Quantum mechanics suggests that the behavior of matter and energy is inherently probabilistic and that the effect of the observer on the physical system being observed must be understood as a part of that system. Also called quantum physics, quantum theory. Compare classical physics. See also probability wave, quantum, uncertainty principle, wave-particle duality.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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quantum mechanics in Culture

quantum mechanics definition

The branch of physics that deals with the behavior of matter at the level of the atom, the nucleus, and the elementary particle. At this level, energy, mass, momentum, and other quantities do not vary continuously, as they do in the large-scale world, but come in discrete units, or quanta. (See Bohr atom and photon.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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