# Quantize definitions

To limit (an observable quantity) to multiples of some small, indivisible unit, as a quantum.

verb

To limit the possible values of (a magnitude or quantity) to a discrete set of values by quantum mechanical rules.

verb

To apply quantum mechanics or the quantum theory to.

verb

To express in multiples of a basic unit.

verb

To express in terms of the quantum theory.

verb

To limit a variable or variables describing a physical system to discrete, distinct values. For example, the energy of electromagnetic radiation such as light at a given frequency must be an integer multiple of h&ngr;, where &ngr; is the frequency and h is a Planck's constant; electromagnetic energy is thus inherently quantized (in this case, photons are the

**quanta**of energy). The distinct orbitals of electrons in an atom are also a case of quantized energy. Many apparently continuous phenomena turn out to be quantized at a very fine level or very small scale; quantum mechanics was developed in large part to explain many unexpected cases of quantization in the natural world.To express in multiples of a quantum number, in other words an integer or basic unit. In telecommunications, the term refers to the conversion of the amplitude of an analog sine wave into a digital signal, which necessarily requires expressing the amplitude value in binary terms. See also quantizing noise.

(telecommunications) To approximate a continuously varying signal by one whose amplitude can only have a set of discrete values.

verb