Related topics: quantum computing · physicists

Quantum magic squares

The magic of mathematics is particularly reflected in magic squares. Recently, quantum physicist Gemma De las Cuevas and mathematicians Tim Netzer and Tom Drescher introduced the notion of the quantum magic square, and for ...

Researchers use infrared light to detect molecules

Ordinary solid-state lasers, as used in laser pointers, generate light in the visible range. For many applications, however, such as the detection of molecules, radiation in the mid-infrared range is needed. Such infrared ...

Controlling fully integrated nanodiamonds

Using modern nanotechnology, it is possible nowadays to produce structures which have a feature sizes of just a few nanometres. This world of the most minute particles—also known as quantum systems—makes possible a wide ...

Improving quantum dot interactions, one layer at a time

Osaka City University scientists and colleagues in Japan have found a way to control an interaction between quantum dots that could greatly improve charge transport, leading to more efficient solar cells. Their findings were ...

Scientists age quantum dots in a test tube

Researchers from MIPT and the RAS Institute of Problems of Chemical Physics have proposed a simple and convenient way to obtain arbitrarily sized quantum dots required for physical experiments via chemical aging. The study ...

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In physics, a quantum (plural: quanta) is an indivisible entity of a quantity that has the same units as the Planck constant and is related to both energy and momentum of elementary particles of matter (called fermions) and of photons and other bosons. The word comes from the Latin "quantus", for "how much." Behind this, one finds the fundamental notion that a physical property may be "quantized", referred to as "quantization". This means that the magnitude can take on only certain discrete numerical values, rather than any value, at least within a range. There is a related term of quantum number.

A photon is often referred to as a "light quantum". The energy of an electron bound to an atom (at rest) is said to be quantized, which results in the stability of atoms, and of matter in general. But these terms can be a little misleading, because what is quantized is this Planck's constant quantity whose units can be viewed as either energy multiplied by time or momentum multiplied by distance.

Usually referred to as quantum "mechanics", it is regarded by virtually every professional physicist as the most fundamental framework we have for understanding and describing nature at the infinitesimal level, for the very practical reason that it works. It is "in the nature of things", not a more or less arbitrary human preference.

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