quantum saltum?

Anton Sherwood (dasher@netcom.com)
Wed, 10 Sep 1997 17:35:43 -0700

John Clark asks?
: It's a tangential thought but is anyone else irritated by the phrase
: "a quantum jump" when it's supposed to mean a huge change, actually
: it's the smallest possible change, anything smaller is no change at all.

Doesn't bother me a bit. A quantum jump is distinguished from an analog
jump. On the scale of an atom, the smallest possible change is startlingly
big to someone who doesn't know quantum theory. A quantum jump is a
metaphor for qualitative change.

Wanna know what drives me up the wall? Overuses of the word
_intergalactic_. Every space-fantasy is described as intergalactic.
Even Star Trek, which from the beginning has been *explicitly* confined
to one galaxy.

... I once heard someone on radio say
"This will put us years ahead, maybe even light-years."

Anton Sherwood *\\* +1 415 267 0685 *\\* DASher@netcom.com