If packets of energy are discrete, there must be some minimum size for one of these packets. That packet is called a quantum.
5.
Quantum Leap, and other dumb misuses of the term in pop culture...
If a quantum is the smallest possible size for a packet of energy, it must be small, right? So why is a “Quantum Leap” huge?
The term “Quantum physics” or “quantum mechanics” refers to the mathematical consequences of a quantized view of energy, and the specific math of the intensely tiny insides of atoms.
The regular laws of physics don’t work very well on this tiny scale. We will discuss why, but will not take on the killer math. (you’re welcome!)
6.
Richard Feynman, 1965 Nobel Laureate in Physics, for work in quantum electrodynamics
“ I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.”
We are not doing them! The math is too complex and not necessary.
We will only consider the solutions without looking at the equations. The solutions, or quantum numbers, form a simple pattern. The equation above is just for describing hydrogen’s emission spectrum! Imagine how ugly it gets for bigger atoms!