quantum jump

noun
1.
Physics. an abrupt transition of a system described by quantum mechanics from one of its discrete states to another, as the fall of an electron in an atom to an orbit of lower energy.
2.
any sudden and significant change, advance, or increase.
Also called quantum leap.


Origin:
1925–30

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
quantum leap or quantum jump
 
n
a sudden highly significant advance; breakthrough
 
[C20: from its use in physics meaning the sudden jump of an electron, atom, etc from one energy level to another]
 
quantum jump or quantum jump
 
n
 
[C20: from its use in physics meaning the sudden jump of an electron, atom, etc from one energy level to another]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
quantum jump  
A change from one quantum state to another, as when an electron orbiting a nucleus moves from one shell to another with the loss or gain of a quantum of energy.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
For while the mobility of labor has diminished, the mobility of capital has
  taken a quantum jump.
Our technological leaps determine new urgencies and uncertainties with every
  quantum jump.
The introduction of communication satellites appears destined to provide a
  quantum jump of sorts in thi s arena.
Currently, the major concern is to augment wheat genetic diversity in order to
  realize another quantum jump in wheat production.
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