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Quantum

A quantum is the minimum amount of any physical property involved in an interaction.

 


Explanation

The magnitude of a physical property can take on only discrete values consisting of integer multiples of one quantum.

 


Example 1

The Planck constant h is the quantum of electromagnetic action.

 


Example 2

Dirac's constant is a quantum of angular momentum, including spin. It is the smallest unit of information.

 


Example 3

A photon ɣ is the quantum of energy as a form of electromagnetic radiation.

 


Example 4

A phonon is the quantum of energy in vibrations that occur in periodic arrangements of atoms or molecules.

 


Example 5

A magnon is the quantum of a spin wave. It is an excitation associated with the spin structure of electrons in a crystal lattice.

 


Example 6

A plasmon is the quantum of plasma oscillation.

 


Example 7

A roton is a quantum of angular momentum. It is an excitation that describes the macroscopic rotational states of suprafluids.

 


Example 8

The elementary charge e of a proton is a quantum of electric charge.

 


Example 9

The hypothetical graviton is the energy quantum of gravitational waves.

 


Example 10

According the loop quantum gravity theory, interactions create space quanta.

 


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