quantum leap

Discuss word origins and meanings.

quantum leap

Post by gdwdwrkr » Thu May 18, 2006 9:51 am

to preserve the coherence of this thread and the rhetorical balance

Having deleteriously deleted a post or two myself, it is occurring to me that , rather than deletion, maybe editing would be better, deleting problematic material, but politely saying that the action has been taken, and helping others to "connectivity."
I'm just sayin.
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quantum leap

Post by spiritus » Sat May 20, 2006 2:13 am

SUBJECTIVE

sub·jec·tive

adjective

Definitions:

1. not impartial: based on somebody's opinions or feelings rather than on facts or evidence

gdwdwrkr wrote: Having deleteriously deleted a post or two myself, it is occurring to me that , rather than deletion, maybe editing would be better, deleting problematic material, but politely saying that the
action has been taken, and helping others to "connectivity."
I'm just sayin.
We understand of course, that this may be Jame's subjective observation.

(Definitions of SUBJECTIVE continued:)

2. philosophy existing by perception: existing only in the mind and not independently of it


We understand this to be an extended metaphor for a thought experiment.

"A thought experiment (from the German term Gedankenexperiment, coined by Hans Christian Ørsted) in the broadest sense is the use of an imagined scenario to help us understand the way things really are. The understanding comes through reflection on the situation. Thought experiment methodology is a priori, rather than empirical, in that it does not proceed by observation or experiment." ---- Wikipedia

( * Selected works listed below provide more info on
the subjectivity of thought experiments and observation. )

Popper, K., "On the Use and Misuse of Imaginary Experiments, Especially in Quantum Theory", pp.442-456, in Popper, K., The Logic of Scientific Discovery, Harper Torchbooks, (New York), 1968.

Rescher, N., "Thought Experiment in Pre-Socratic Philosophy", pp.31-41 in Horowitz, T. & Massey, G.J. (eds.), Thought Experiments in Science and Philosophy, Rowman & Littlefield, (Savage), 1991.

Witt-Hansen, J., "H.C. Örsted, Immanuel Kant and the Thought Experiment", Danish Yearbook of Philosophy, Vol.13, (1996), pp.48-65.

Holyoak, K.J. & Thagard, P., Mental Leaps: Analogy in Creative Thought, A Bradford Book, The MIT Press, (Cambridge), 1995.

Horowitz, T. & Massey, G.J. (eds.), Thought Experiments in Science and Philosophy, Rowman & Littlefield, (Savage), 1991.

Kahn, H., Thinking About the Unthinkable, Discus Books, (New York), 1971.

Leatherdale, W.H., The Role of Analogy, Model and Metaphor in Science, North-Holland Publishing Company, (Amsterdam), 1974.

(I've actually read the last two.)

3. medicine observed only by patient: describes a medical condition that is perceived to exist only by the patient and is notrecognizable to anyone else


4. grammar relating to subject of verb: relating to or forming the subject of a verb



gdwdwrkr wrote: ...to preserve the coherence of this thread and the rhetorical balance.

(Italics are mine.--Spiritus.)
gdwdwrkr wrote: ...rather than deletion, maybe editing would be better, deleting problematic material, but politely saying that the action has been taken, and helping others to "connectivity."


I suggested I could be wrong or connective. The word connective has these definitions:

1. link: something that joins two or more people, things, or parts

2. grammar linking word: a word that links sentences, phrases, clauses, or words

3. botany stamen tissue: the tissue that joins the two lobes of an anther in the stamen of a plant


http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_/connective.html

Though I appreciate your making the suggestion, I don't understand how or why editing, rather then deleting parts of the thread, would contribute to "...helping others to connectivity".
CONNECTIVITY

con·nec·tiv·i·ty
noun

Definition:

ability to communicate with another device: the ability to communicate with another system or piece of hardware or software, or with an Internet site

http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/ ... nnectivity
Perhaps, "connectivity" is your "objective".(;-)

In any case, I submit the following 'connective' out of respect for your occupation James:

Plain, but Neat

"Chippendale Press Virginians often placed orders for furniture with the instruction that their purchases were to be "plain, but neat." In 1759 George Washington ordered a bedstead with "neat plain mahogany footposts." The 18th-century cabinetmaker understood this description to mean unadorned, but elegant. When Washington placed his order, he was following the advice given by Thomas Chippendale in The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director, 1754: "if any of the small Ornaments should be thought superfluous, they may be left out, without spoiling the design." ---http://www.kenmore.org/collections/furn ... iture.html


Prefer your threads plain, but neat? Then never edit----just delete.
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quantum leap

Post by gdwdwrkr » Sat May 20, 2006 12:55 pm

Chippendale Press Virginians. Now that's connective. ;-)
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quantum leap

Post by spiritus » Mon May 22, 2006 9:02 am

James,

Perhaps I am too easily impressed, but it appears to my perception that your post addresses every major issue of the past eighty years in regards to quantum physics and linguistics.

Your metaphorical observation measures the thread without collapsing the wave function. Thank you for the elegance.

( P.S. Just an aside, but I was wondering if a man in a little black dress would be considered elegant.)
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Post by tony h » Mon May 22, 2006 1:05 pm

Did George Washington keep his mahogany bedstead in tip top condition by applying neats' foot oil, or maybe he just wanted cow-shaped feet?
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quantum leap

Post by tony h » Mon May 22, 2006 1:38 pm

Presumably if you travel around space and time by means of a quantum leap you are called a quantum leaper. And if you don't quite make it - a quantum leper.

We had a teenager who lived in a differnt concept of space and time perhaps : a quantum sleeper?
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Post by Ken Greenwald » Tue May 23, 2006 9:56 pm

Note: I apologize to those who may not be that interested in the following details (although it is not off topic), but I cannot allow our friend Che, who obviously doesn’t know what he is talking about, to accuse me of ‘intellectual dishonesty’ and go unanswered.

Che, Your belief based on your above ludicrous ‘demonstration’ that QUANTUM has always been a JANUS WORD (a word that is its own antonym) from its beginning in 1619 and your obvious lack of understanding of the QUANTUM MEASUREMENT PROBLEM only reinforce my previous advice to you:
<“In my humble opinion, I think you ought to stick to your day job and hold off making erroneous pontifications on quantum mechanics! (&lt)”>
And I would now add to that, “hold off on any pontifications requiring the use of more logic than you evidently are capable of handling!”

While your particular artist’s mind does not seem to necessarily require the use of logic, and God forbid ‘linear thinking’ – and I do sometimes wish I had a few more artistic neurons (an aptitude test that I took before entering college, revealed that I had the artistic ability (based on my sample drawings) of a seven-year-old child) – the above items do, and you don’t.

I will here discuss your totally bogus reasoning of why QUANTUM was its own antonym from the start, and then go on to consider your misconceptions of the measurement problem in a following posting:

You said:
<“In light of the meaning implied when we state, ‘I smell a rat ( or weasel )’, and understanding what a lack of intellectual honesty and courage really means (&lt), we provide this "dated" ( 1619 ) definition from Merriam-Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. . . Quantum, beginning with its original usage and origin ( 1619 ), has always been a Janus word; because its adjective function's meaning is an antonym of its noun function's meaning. This generally accepted fact does not require a quantum leap; quantum jump; or Ken's agreement as validation.”>
And below I reproduce your atrocious ‘proof’ of ‘this generally accepted (Hmm. By whom??) fact’:
QUANTUM 1619, "one's share or portion," from L. quantum "how much," neut. sing. of quantus "how great" (see quantity).

1.) QUANTUM - adjective a : any of the very small increments or parcels into which many forms of energy are subdivided b : any of the small subdivisions of a quantized physical magnitude (as magnetic moment)

2.) QUANTUM - noun LARGE, SIGNIFICANT <a quantum improvement>
( Introduced in physics by Max Planck, 1900; reinforced by Einstein, 1905.)

noun
QUANTUM LEAP: an abrupt change, sudden increase, or dramatic advance.( "Quantum leap", first recorded, 1970. )

noun
QUANTUM JUMP: an abrupt transition (as of an electron, an atom, or a molecule) from one discrete energy state to another
( "Quantum jump" is first recorded, 1955. )
Now I suppose with your muddled style of thinking (circular, or is it elliptical, or is it . . . .) you somehow believe that your above ‘quotes’ constitute a ‘proof’ of your point – you have my condolences!

And BTW what version of Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary are you looking at? My CD-ROM version doesn’t provide the same definitions you have. Also it is not clear if the stuff in parenthesis is what your dictionary says – my Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary has no dates – or are those from other sources juxtaposed to provide in your mind what you conceive to be a convincing argument? Also you say that your #1 definition is of the adjective, but your description is of a noun (e.g. increments or parcels). And your #2 definition purports to be of the noun and yet is defined as an adjective (e.g. large, significant). In any event, it is easy to show than none of this mishmash makes any sense and that QUANTUM has not ‘always been a Janus word” as I demonstrate below.

The 1619 date is a reference to the following OED quote:
<1619 “To set The true QUANTUM, the true poize and price vpon himselfe.”—‘Microcosmus’ by Samuel Purchas, page 302>
This quote appears in the OED under the earliest definition of QUANTUM: “Sum, amount; = quantity; specifically in law, an amount, a sum (of money payable in damages, etc.),” which is in agreement with your 1619 statement. Now I ask you, firstly, how could your purported adjective definition in statement #1, which wasn’t even formulated until the beginning of the 20th century, have been an antonym of the 1619 definition, and, secondly, how do you construe “one’s share or portion . . . how much . . . how great . . . (see quantity),” as you say or as the OED says “sum, amount, = quantity,” to be an antonym of “any of the very small increments or parcels . . . ” even assuming that definition existed in 1619 – which it didn’t. Clearly ‘quantity,’ which as far as I am aware doesn’t even have an antonym, may be any size (small, medium, or large and all gradations between) and in no way specifies how big or small something is – that would require a modifier as logic alone would claim, but which the following OED quotes demonstrate for the 1619 definition.

In the following quotes ‘quantum’ means size, amount, quantity. Whether it is small, medium, or large is not part of its meaning and is TBD (To Be Determined).

Note: [[ ]] are my comments
<1738 “To vote in the first Place, that the King should be supplied; in the next Place, the QUANTUM of the Supply.”—‘History of the Court by the Exchequer,’ iii. page 43> [[size of quantum is to be voted on]]
.
<1791 “The momentum of bodies depends on the QUANTUM of their velocity multiplied into that of their matter.”—‘A Tour of England & Scotland’ by T. Newte,’ page 179> [[In classical physics the definition of momentum is mass times velocity, and here the ‘quantum’ of velocity means the size, which may vary from zero to infinitesimally small, to huge (it was later learned that the maximum allowable velocity in nature was the speed of light)]].

<1898 “The quantum of damages as fixed by the lower court is, we think, too low.”—‘Southern Reporter,’ XXIII, page 718/2> [[which implies that it is also capable of being ‘too high,’ or perhaps even ‘just right’]]
For your noun in #2, and assuming you actually meant adjective (but these are just details, details important to those abominable ‘linear thinkers’), you have ‘large and significant’ along with two facts that bear no relevance to when the word QUANTUM took on that meaning: “Introduced in physics by Max Planck, 1900; reinforced by Einstein, 1905.” FYI, as far as I can determine, the word QUANTUM was never used to mean ‘large and significant’ (or ‘sudden and large’ as I proposed in my earlier posting) until the 20th century and I challenge you to find a single example of it being used in that sense before then. Planck and Einstein in 1900 and 1905 did not use it to mean that. They used it in physics to mean allowable ‘discrete/integral unit’ (a minimum allowable amount of a physical quantity) as distinguished from the continuous allowable amounts of classical physics, and this is, of course, verified by the following quote from the OED:
<5.“QUANTUM: Physics. A minimum allowable amount of a physical quantity which can exist and by multiples of which changes in the quantity occur. a) A discrete quantity of electromagnetic energy proportional in magnitude to the frequency of the radiation it represents. b) An analogous discrete amount of any other physical quantity (as momentum, electric charge). c) More fully QUANTUM of action. = Planck's constant. d) figuratively. This [[5.]]use of QUANTUM originated in Germany in two classic papers by Planck and by Einstein. Planck introduced the concept of a quantum in Verh. d. Deutsch. Physik. Ges. (1900) II. 237ff. In that paper he assumed that the energy of an oscillator is always an integral multiple of an ‘energy element’ (G. ENERGIEELEMENT, p. 242), i.e. a QUANTUM (sense 5a), but he did not call it a QUATUM; however he did use the word in a passing reference to the electronic charge (‘das ElementarQUANTUM der Elektricität’, p. 245: = sense 5b). Einstein, in Ann. d. Physik (1905) XVII. 132ff., assumed that light is radiated in the form of what he called ‘energy QUANTA’ (G. ENERGIEQUANTA, p. 133: = sense 5a).>
So, although the word QUANTUM may have appeared in the 1900 and 1905 papers, it is wrong to assume that it meant ‘large, significant’ / ‘sudden and large’ at that time. In fact if anything it meant the opposite since the quanta (plural of quantum) that Planck and Einstein were discussing were the tiny unit packets of energy – Planck and Einstein were talking single photons of light in their discussions of ‘blackbody radiation’ and ‘the photoelectric effect’ respectively. And, in fact, the only reason that I conceded that QUANTUM became a Janus word, is because of the dichotomy between Planck and Einstein's earlier meanings and the later ‘large and significant / sudden and large’ meanings. And since the earlier definition of ‘quantity/amount’ doesn’t even have an antonym, the word QUANTUM was clearly incapable of being a Janus word before the 20th century.

And I don’t quite see the logic of your giving the definitions of QUANTUM LEAP and QUATUM JUMP in your purported proof, which, if anything, support my view that QUANTUM did not become a Janus word until fairly recent times. I will also point out that your 1970 date for QUATUM LEAP and 1955 date for QUANTUM JUMP are both wrong, but I can’t fault you at least on ‘quantum leap’ because I was also mislead on this one by Brewer’s Modern Dictionary of Phrase & Fable, a usually ‘reliable source,’ which provided me with the 1970s time frame and the OED which gave me 1970. But if you really did know much about quantum mechanics, which you appear to have been trying very hard to impress us that you do, you would have immediately ‘smelled a rat,’ at least with your 1955 (OED has 1927, I found 1924) date for the physics term QUANTUM JUMP, and realized that date was much too late:
<1924 “ . . . and N1 being the number of molecules per unit volume in the lower quantum state and [alpha] the absorption coefficient for light which is producing the QUANTUM JUMP under consideration.”— ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America,’ Vol.10, No. 3, March, page 85>

<1930 “First, we may refer the arbitrary character of a single ultimate physical event, such as a QUATUM LEAP, to the arbitrary character of the whole universe of which the single event is a part, . . .” —‘The Journal of Philosophy,’ Vol. 27, No. 16, July, page 429>
So Che, I would not go so far as to accuse you of being ‘dishonest’ or even ‘weaslley’ as you did me, but I would be more generous and only accuse you of being a sloppy and inept thinker, a person ignorant of the facts, who doesn’t seem to know his rear from a hole in the wall when it comes to making a logical presentation. (<:)
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Post by spiritus » Wed May 24, 2006 9:04 pm

James Ken,

Perhaps I am too easily impressed entertained, but it appears to my perception that your post addresses every major issue of the past eighty years in regards to quantum physics and linguistics.

Your metaphorical observation measures the thread without collapsing the wave function. Thank you for the elegance.

( P.S. Just an aside, but I was wondering, if a man in a is a little black dress considered elegant? )
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Post by Ken Greenwald » Thu May 25, 2006 7:35 pm

Well Che, that was quite a response to my post – talk about being WEASLLEY. You didn’t answer the questions I asked you and avoided addressing the main issue of whether you were correct in your belief that the word QUANTUM was a Janus word from the beginning. Is dance, weave, and bob what folks like you do when they find out they are wrong but don’t have the intellectual honesty to admit it?
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Post by tony h » Mon May 29, 2006 7:57 pm

Well I for one am disappointed that Che has deleted his posts. I had determined that this thread needed some serious reading and was looking forward to doing that this evening but it has gone.
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quantum leap

Post by spiritus » Thu Jun 08, 2006 10:09 pm

Ken Greenwald wrote:
Well Che, that was quite a response to my post – talk about being WEASLLEY. You didn’t answer the questions I asked you and avoided addressing the main issue of whether you were correct in your belief that the word QUANTUM was a Janus word from the beginning. Is dance, weave, and bob what folks like you do when they find out they are wrong but don’t have the intellectual honesty to admit it?
___________________

Ken G – May 25, 2006
Ken, I am wrong. You are right. You are correct when you write, "I don’t have the intellectual honesty to admit it". You have exposed me. I admit it. I am lying.

I hope you don't think me a fool or cretan. Like all liars, I am a paradox to myself. I am not logical. I write fallacies.
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Post by spiritus » Thu Jun 08, 2006 11:11 pm

Ken Greenwald wrote:
Is dance, weave, and bob what folks like you do when they find out they are wrong but don’t have the intellectual honesty to admit it?
___________________

Ken G – May 25, 2006
Ken, I have no idea which folks are like me, let alone what they will do when you express your belief that they are wrong. Moreover, my responses to your assertions that I am wrong are subject to take any number of varied forms depending upon my interpretation of the speech situation.

For example, in this instance I have been inspired to create poetry, by your usage of the phrases, "folks like you" and "dance, weave, and bob".

Poem for Ken and Folks Like Me

Knowing Truth may answer or ask
It's choreography removes error and chance

Our Knowings are always relative
to our knowing how to dance

To knotted thinking self often cleaves
All that is thinking One Self weaves

This unseen ocean thought to be wave
Just the object seen bobbing we seek to save

Dance is not dancer
and names are not things

Reading all answers right
is left of what asking brings

(I am naive enough to sincerely believe,
there is no mistake so great
as that of always being right.)
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Post by gdwdwrkr » Thu Jun 08, 2006 11:18 pm

Nice poem
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quantum leap

Post by Ken Greenwald » Thu Jun 08, 2006 11:33 pm

Poem subtitle: “Ode to the Justification for Sloppy Thinking.” (<:)
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Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri Jun 09, 2006 1:09 am

---ooo---0000 --- THE END --- 0000---ooo---
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