In pheesics, a quantum (plural: quanta) is the minimum amoont o ony pheesical entity involved in an interaction. Behind this, ane finds the fundamental notion that a pheesical property mey be "quantized," referred tae as "the hypothesis o quantization". This means that the magnitude can tak on anly certain discrete values.
A photon is a single quantum o licht, an is referred tae o as a "licht quantum". The energy o an electron boond tae an atom is quantized, which results in the stability o atoms, an hence o matter in general.
As incorporatit intae the theory o quantum mechanics, this is regardit bi pheesicists as pairt o the fundamental framewirk for unnerstanding an describin naitur at the smawest length-scales.
- Wiener, N. (1966). Differential Space, Quantum Systems, and Prediction. Cambridge: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press