This article is about the physical phenomenon. For the television program, see Quantum Leap (TV series). For the Sinclair computer, see Sinclair QL. For the british rock band, see Quantum Jump.
In physics, a quantum leap or quantum jump is a change of an electron from one quantum state to another within an atom. It appears to be discontinuous; the electron "jumps" from one energy level to another very quickly, after existing briefly in a state of superposition. The time this takes relates to the natural, pressure and field broadening of spectral lines. Quantum leaps cause the emission of electromagnetic radiation, including that of light, which occurs in the form of quantized units called photons. Their statistics is Poissonian and the damping is exponential (in average).
Although changes of quantum state occur on the submicroscopic level, in popular discourse, the term "quantum leap" refers to a large increase (Oxford English Dictionary).
 See also
* Burst noise
* Stimulated emission
1. ^ Schombert, James. Quantum physics. University of Oregon Department of Physics.
2. ^ Observing the quantum jumps of light - http://www.mpq.mpg.de/Theorygroup/CIRAC/wiki/images/8/86/Samuel.pdf
 External links
Look up quantum leap in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
* Are there quantum jumps?
* "There are no quantum jumps, nor are there particles!" by H. D. Zeh, Physics Letters A172, 189 (1993).