quantum theory

noun Physics.
1.
any theory predating quantum mechanics that encompassed Planck's radiation formula and a scheme for obtaining discrete energy states for atoms, as Bohr theory.
2.
any theory that treats certain phenomena by the methods of quantum mechanics: a quantum theory of gravitation.

Origin:
1910–15

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Collins
World English Dictionary
quantum theory
 
n
See wave mechanics a theory concerning the behaviour of physical systems based on Planck's idea that they can only possess certain properties, such as energy and angular momentum, in discrete amounts (quanta). The theory later developed in several equivalent mathematical forms based on De Broglie's theory and on the Heisenberg uncertainty principle

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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

quantum theory n.
The theory that radiant energy is transmitted in the form of discrete units.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
quantum theory  
  1. See quantum mechanics.

  2. Any of various theories that makes use of the assumptions, principles, and laws of quantum mechanics.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
But despite a slow start, the field seems to be on the verge of yielding real
  advances in quantum theory and engineering.
Among the lesser effects of quantum theory are gaping holes in old ideas about
  causality.
The relativity theory and the quantum theory were included among the latter.
For one thing, good as quantum theory and relativity are at explaining things,
  neither can be explained in terms of the other.
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