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Quantum Leap

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by StarMountainKid, Apr 26, 2006.

  1. StarMountainKid


    Nov 6, 2005
    It's amusing when some advertisement states that their new product is a quantum leap ahead of the others, meaning it has been vastly improved over the previous model, or is now so much better than the competition.

    The original meaning of the phrase in quantum theory, which is the model of how elementary particles behave, is 'the smallest change possible, and always random'. Well, not exactly random, but within the possible probabilities of that change. In any event, the exact result of the change cannot be specifically predicted ahead of time.

    So, when some company improves their product in this quantum way, the change is smaller than miniscule, and even they don't know what has changed, or if it's an improvement or not. It's just different in some unknown way than the previous model.
  2. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    In the vernacular "quantum leap" has come to mean an abrupt change. A change so abrupt that it's revolutionary (or so they think). Lots of people use scientific jargon like this. The Gillette Fusion, etc.
  3. irjason

    irjason In Memoriam

    Nov 17, 2001
    Louisville, KY
    I thought you were going to talk about the TV show with Scott Bakula...
  4. nateo

    nateo Schubie Fan #1

    Mar 2, 2003
    Ottawa, Ontario
    I think the phrase is perfectly reasonable. Like Geoff said, a quantum leap is a step immediately to some point a known distance away. The only other way of movement would be continuous, which means each iteration is infinitely close to the previous one, but moving in a given direction. Think of the definition of a continuous function vs. a step. A step function is certainly much farther ahead than a continuous function immediately following the step.

    And (just to further steer this thread to the promised land of hijackness) I used to love that show, always waking up in some crazy other person's life and not having any idea who you were supposed to be. Man, I would have totally screwed up everybody's lives.

  5. bassthumpa


    Aug 31, 2004
    Austin, TX
    That show was great. Poor Sam never lept home though. :bawl:
  6. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    So what you're saying is that people wishing to go into advertising shouldn't go for MBAs, but rather degrees in physics? :D
  7. Me too...I'm very disappointed. I always waste a lot of time whenever the Sci-Fi channel airs a Quantam Leap marathon.

    Ziggy says there's a 95.8% probability that Quantam Leap was awesome!
  8. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca
    i'd love to hear the term "eigenket" used in advertising.
  9. arbitrary

    arbitrary Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2005
    Boston, MA
    He never went home?
    Say it Aint so!!!
  10. Diggler


    Mar 3, 2005
    Western PA
    ... Oh boy...
  11. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    What does "Ziggy" think about all this?

  12. bassthumpa


    Aug 31, 2004
    Austin, TX
    Sad but true. The last episode had Sam leaping into Al's life. In the end, Al's marriage was saved, and the last caption noted that Sam never lept home. The end. :bawl:
  13. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    I'm holding my breath for "kinetic shear Alfven instability".
  14. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca
    now you're just making stuff up! :rollno: :p :bag:
  15. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I get that bad when I eat too much cheese.


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