Talk:Quantum leap

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All of the discussion below dated prior to 13 January 2011‎ were moved here from the Talk page of an article previously titled "Quantum leap" then retitled Atomic electron transition. New discussion on "atomic electron transitions" then continued on Talk:Atomic electron transition. Discussions found below that are dated after 13 January 2011‎ were made here after the prior article was converted to a redirect on that date.


I took out that reference because, as the original poster claimed, it was unauthoritative and directly contradicted the dictionary.

Additionally, I noted that the argument supposedly literate people vehemently use against quantum leap is that the change in the leap in quantum mechanics is a very, very, VERY small distance. Well, if we aren't talking about particle physics, but rather ideas, a fundamental change in the way that people think (or how industry works) is ALWAYS big.

A lot of sources on the internet disagree, apparently including a lot of scientists and people who study language. Well, they are wrong. A good argument trumps a bad one, and I think I stated it pretty clearly.

--alan d

I made some changes to the Vernacular, or Popular usage section. I disagree with this small change business. I guess if you are talking about physical distances you have a point, but everything is relative (and position of course is fairly irrelevant in QM anyway). The Lyman-alpha line in Hydrogen is an energy shift of about 75% of the ionization energy of the electron, which to me is pretty big. Imagine if you could be abruptly kicked to 75% of the way to escaping Earth's atmosphere...pretty big to you, small to someone the size of the universe. Vessels42 14:17, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

OK, I removed the paragraph you didn't like. I've made some changes in the other paragraph. The term "quantum leap" isn't used in quantum mechanics. If it were, it would probably refer to jumps between energy levels, rather than jumps between particles.

My understanding is that a "quantum leap" is when an electron jumps physically from one quantum state (electron cloud?) to another, resulting in an abrupt change in the energy level. This (as I understand it) implies that moving electrons from one quantum state to the other is simultaneously a jump in level as well as a physical move.

And yes, it is a term in quantum mechanics, although I suspect its not particularly useful to describe anything other than its exact definition.

--alan d

I don't know enough to answer this: is it possible for an electron to jump two energy levels? It seems to me that it would be possible, as in emission spectra. Would that also be characterised as a quantum leap? If so, then a quantum leap isn't the smallest possible leap; it is merely a jump from one state to another, without passing through intermediate states? AndyP 14:48, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

You have a point there. Yes, it is certainly possible for the electron to jump more than one energy level (without passing through the intermediate levels). Quantum leaps are still "small" changes in any conventional sense of the term, though of course this is relative.--Srleffler 23:52, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
He might have a point, but not a particularly strong one. All that would entail is that a quantum leap in this context doesn't have to be the absolute smallest change. It says nothing about a) how large that change is on the full range of potential changes (still small) and b) how likely such a larger change would be (yet again, small). The only consistent usage of the term must then be in reference to the discrete nature of the change (no intermediate values are taken) with the size of said change being arbitrary, though more justifiably small than big.Nbrader (talk) 11:06, 4 May 2014 (UTC)

Vernacular usage[edit]

Why does someone (or several people) keep deleting the section on the vernacular usage of this term? It has been deleted several times by anonymous editors. The section seems good to me. This is an actual usage of the term, and it is useful having a section that compares and contrasts the vernacular usage with the physics usage.--Srleffler 12:57, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Maybe it should be pointed out that a quantum leap is the smallest imaginable state change, whereas it's commonly used as a synonym for "large step for mankind". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:53, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

TV series[edit]

Also a popular television series from the early 1990's, in which the main character "quantum shifts" between time periods in his own lifetime with the aim of solving people's problems, usually involving their deaths, within a limited period with the aid of a time travelling holographic assistant and the computer known as Ziggie. Currently being repeated on a freeview channel.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

The TV series has its own article, at Quantum Leap. Information on the show belongs there, not here.--Srleffler 01:24, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

WP:RM purpose[edit]

If anyone is interested, i have put a series of questions on the talk page of the Quantum Leap redirect page relating tothe TV series move. Simply south 17:24, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

Electron only?[edit]

According to the article (my emphasis)

In physics, a quantum leap or quantum jump is a change of an electron from one energy state to another within an atom.

Is it certain (no puns please) that it has to be an electron? Fluxons, spinons and other phenomena can also exhibit a discontinuous quantum transition, a leap. --20:12, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Many standard quantum mechanics textbooks, such as Merzbacher, and Landau and Lifshitz, use the term "electron" for brevity and concreteness when referring to some quantum mechanical object, although they mention this explicitly in a footnote within the first few pages. 14:38, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Yes, technically any particle or system that is 'bound'; nucleons, phonons, positronium, etc. will have quantized energy levels, and the transitions between these levels could be described as 'quantum leaps'. --ChetvornoTALK 17:02, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

It's not used by scientists[edit]

It might be worthwhile noting that although the term is used by scientists to explain quantum mechanics to nonscientists, it is not used by scientists among themselves, who are more likely to use terms like "atomic transition". To get an idea of how the term was used in published literature, I looked at the first 400 hits on Google Books. Leaving out references to the television show, the most common useage was as a metaphor in New Age and business innovation books. There was much use in general interest books about science: such as Brian Clegg (2009) Instant Egghead Guide to Physics, Bill Nye (1993) The Science Guy's Big Blast of Science, Gribbin (1997) Einstein: a life in science, Alan Guth (1998) The Inflationary Universe. There were almost no uses in professional scientific literature; the few times it occured it was used as a metaphor for innovation: Richard Leavens (1988) Interfaces, Quantum Wells, and Superlattices. One of the few uses by a scientist to refer to atomic transitions was Arnold Sommerfeld (1934) Atomic Structure and Spectral Lines --ChetvornoTALK 10:34, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

OK, I took the bold step of moving the old Quantum leap page to Atomic electron transition. All of the previous discussion from the old "Talk:Quantum leap" page is here, except the WikiProject Physics banner. Atomic electronic transition redirects to Atomic electron transition. Atomic transition is still a red link as of now so that a generalized article on all atomic transitions, including non-electron ones, can be started. Quantum leap and Quantum jump now go to disambiguation pages. Electronic transition redirects to Molecular electronic transition. Electron transition is still a red link. H Padleckas (talk) 13:03, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I think that change makes a "quantum leap" in consciseness (sorry). --ChetvornoTALK 20:35, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Destination of redirect to be physics concept or television show[edit]

A few days ago, the user Jojhutton changed this "quantum leap" redirect page to refer to the article about the Quantum Leap television show rather than the article about the physics concept. I have the strong impression that the concept of a quantum transition in physics, and the colloquial use of the phrase to refer to sudden discontinuous changes in general, is the primary meaning of this phrase (especially with "leap" in lowercase). So I reverted this change. If someone disagrees with my view, this would be a good place to discuss it. —BarrelProof (talk) 01:48, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

I will only reiterate what I have already said on my talk page on this matter. The difference between "Quantum Leap" and "Quantum leap" is very slim if not at all. It's only an issue of tense on one letter of one word. The high traffic at "Quantum Leap, (142,000 article views in the past 90 days), compared to Atomic electron transition, (8,000 article views in the past 90 days), means that the collateral damage would be greater with "Quantum leap" redirecting to Atomic electron transition, than would be if the redirect went to Quantum Leap. Also, and I'n not sure exactly, but it looks like the page was moved a while ago to make room for the redirect to Quantum Leap.--JOJ Hutton 04:21, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
The difference between "quantum leap" and "Quantum Leap" is the same as the difference between "red meat" and "Red Meat", and suitable for distinguishing article titles -- see WP:PRECISION. Since the article target of quantum leap must get all the traffic from readers typing in "quantum leap" in the search box and hitting Enter, the stats above show that there is little collateral damage -- most readers reaching the TV show are not first hitting the article target of quantum leap. Instead, targeting the TV show from the lowercase version had the collateral damage of leading all wikilinks to quantum leap to the TV show, when the transition was intended. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:44, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
Then perhaps Red Meat needs to be renamed Red Meat (Comic Strip. Using other Wikipedia articles as sources has hardly ever been the best argument. And you can't compare the two situations since this is not about two "main" articles, but about a Redirect. Leading the redirect to Quantum Leap would have very little collateral damage given the low article traffic the page receives, especially when we have Redirect notice at Quantum Leap. It's about which article is the "Most Likely" article to be searched for. It's obvious from the article view stats that the TV show is the most likely searched for article over the other. Almost 20 to 1.--JOJ Hutton 15:24, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
You've got several points there, so I'm going to bullet them out:
  • If you think there is consensus for a change to WP:PRECISION, Wikipedia talk:Article titles would be the place to see.
  • I used Wikipedia policy and guidelines for the argument.
  • I can compare the situations because the redirect-ness of one of the titles isn't directly relevant to where that title should lead.
  • With the hatnote on Atomic electron transition there is very little collateral damage.
  • I've already answered the note about the stats; given the traffic, it's impossible that more than 8,000 of the 142,000 readers of the TV series article had to suffer the damage of going through "Atomic electron transition" first.
Here, though, we could also use WP:RFD to solicit other input on whether this redirect should be retargeted, or WP:RM to move the disambiguation page to the base name. The earlier retargeting to the disambiguation page landed it on the list at WP:MALPLACED, which is where I found it. Cheers! -- JHunterJ (talk) 10:54, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
WP:PRECISION is an article naming guideline so it has no bearing since both articles already have their own titles. WP:REDIRECT is more suitable for this topic. One of the criteria is Likely alternative capitalizations. That is obvious here. The stats show the number of article views, they don't tell us how many people were redirected to the pages through the "Redirect". It does however tell us the "most likely" target of readers. You say it's impossible that 8000 of the 142000 readers had to suffer the damage? There are no stats on that. As far as we know, every single reader is being erroneously redirected to "Atomic electron transition". But we don't know that do we either? But the argument "could" be made in the other direction though.
Heres something we do know, however, and it's very telling. On and around June 1st, 2012 both article received large spikes in article traffic. Here on Quantum Leap and here at Atomic electron transition. I don't know what caused the spike in traffic, but it's not uncommon to see large spikes when something happens "real world" off Wikipedia. Most likely the same event caused the spike in traffic, and since the redirect at the time was directed to "Atomic electron transition", it's more likely that most of those views at "Atomic electron transition" were based on collateral damage.--JOJ Hutton 13:54, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
Redirects have titles too, and although I see your point, it seems to me the language and reasoning behind the precision guidelines applies easily and correctly to redirects as well. WP:REDIRECT also includes "Reasons for creating and maintaining redirects include: Alternative names, a redirect to the most appropriate article title", which is arguably the case here. And no, I clearly said it's impossible that more than 8,000 of the 142,000 readers did. And if it's 8,000, that means that not one reader was looking for Atomic electron transition. I assume you're not saying that's the case. As for "very telling", there is no corresponding large spike in Quantum Leap (TV series), which tellingly indicates that the redirect traffic is not correlated to the TV series traffic. They are correlated to the atomic electron transition, but that does not indicate that they are "damage". -- JHunterJ (talk) 14:36, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Redirects are not articles and are not bound by the "article title" guidelines of WP:Precision. And besides, I fail to see the logic you are trying to imply with the guideline anyway. Are you saying that "Quantum leap" is the more precise name for Atomic electron transition? A google search of "Quantum leap" reveals far more hits about the television show and other things associated with it, than to anything else. I won't link a result list, I'll let you do your own search with your preferred search engine. I use quite a lot, but I also did an actual search using and came to about the same conclusion.
  • Yes WP:REDIRECT also says: '"Reasons for creating and maintaining redirects include: Alternative names. Is "Quantum leap" really an alternative name for Atomic electron transition? All the sources in the article use the term "Quantum jump". Similar, but not really the same. Or is it that "Quantum jump" is a more common term for Atomic electron transition, than "Quantum leap'? And since, as you pointed out, there are contradicting elements at WP:REDIRECT, it would be more beneficial to error on the side of the article that receives the most article views, which is Quantum Leap by far.
  • As to your comparison to Quantum Leap (TV series), There is no corresponding large spike in that search because nobody searches for an article on Wikipedia by actually typing in that whole phrase. The article views that redirect receives are most likely left over redirected links from inside other articles and therefore obviously wouldn't have the same spike, because its not done through a search, but through clicking on a link.
  • Finally, I linked earlier the article views for June 2012 of both Quantum Leap and Atomic electron transition, both showing a spike in article views on and around the 1st of June. The spike at "Atomic Electron Transition" is very pronounced and makes no sense at all. Theres no reason for it unless you take into account the redirect of "Quantum leap", which corresponds to a similar traffic spike at and around the same time at "Quantum Leap" the TV show. Now if we look back to last year, June of 2011. You will notice that there is a similar article view spike at Quantum Leap on June 1st, 2011. But none at Atomic electron transition for June 1st, 2011. Very curious. Curious because in June 2011, the redirect at "Quantum leap" did not go to "Atomic electron transition", but to "Quantum Leap" the TV show. I don't know why, but for some reason Quantum Leap has received a spike in article traffic on June 1st, two years in a row. Yet Atomic electron transition only received that same spike in traffic the year that "Quantum leap" was a redirect to it, and not the year it was not. The stats do not lie. The television show is the more common and the more searched for topic and should have the redirect.--JOJ Hutton 16:57, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
The guidelines and policies are not legal contracts to be lawyered. Yes, it's really an alternative name. Your note on the lack of corresponding spike in the TV series article is not indicative of anything -- people don't type it, but nonetheless people end up on the page, which is the hits that the traffic site measures; OTOH we have no measure of what people are typing in the search box to get there. Also, the traffic stats site doesn't distinguish on capitalization, unfortunately: Quantum leap is the same as Quantum Leap. The stats do not lie, nor prove anything in this case. Time for WP:RFD or WP:RM. -- JHunterJ (talk) 17:25, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I'm not attempting to say that Wikipedia guidelines are contracts, don't know where your inferred that from. You did say earlier, and I quote, I used Wikipedia policy and guidelines for the argument, and I simply countered that argument by pointing out that the guidelines you are linking are not about redirects but about main space articles. If "Quantum leap" is an alternative name for Atomic electron transition, the citations currently being used in the article don't seem to back that up, so simply making a statement to the effect isn't very convincing. Still don't seem to understand your logic of "Quantum Leap (TV series)". The best I can make out is that since there is no spike in that redirect article, you feel that the other stat spikes don't mean anything? Is that it? If so, it's because the spike in the other article is due to a large amount of searches. People type in "Quantum leap" and are redirected to another page. The "Only" way that "Quantum Leap (TV Series)" gets any notable traffic stats is through clicking on blue wikilinks within other articles. They are not searches, but are clicked on links. The spike in traffic on those days is because of a high number of people searching Wikipedia by typing in the little search box. That's all those stats suggest. You have to make the facts fit the theory, not the other way around. I am aware that the traffic stats site does not distinguish tense. The old one did, but this new one does not, so thats no help to either of us.--JOJ Hutton 18:06, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

  • Request There are not very many reliable sources that link the search term "Quantum leap" with Atomic electron transition. Most of what is found uses the term "Quantum jump", including every source currently used in the article. Unless some hard core sources are found, (sources that are not merely mirror sites), the redirect should be changed back to Quantum Leap, per WP:REDIRECT as it may appear that "Quantum leap" is not an alternative name for AET.--JOJ Hutton 12:33, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
    True, not many. There are some, however: The Herald (Glasgow), June 13, 1998, p. 30: "... and occur in quantum leaps. The important feature of a quantum leap is that it is a discontinuous transition between quantum states." I suspect there are fewer reliable sources that link the lower-case "quantum leap" to the TV series, and Atomic state transition mentions the phrase in its broader usage: " in popular discourse, the term "quantum leap" refers to a large increase." You can propose the change at WP:RFD to draw additional input. -- JHunterJ (talk) 13:21, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
    The lowercase of "quantum leap" is the same two words as the upper save version "Quantum Leap". Search engines do not differentiate. One author using the term "quantum leap" doesn't override the massive amount of websites and literature linking the two words "quantum leap" with the television show. And apparently the link of the term "quantum leap" with "AET" didn't seem to catch on, since most sources use the term "quantum jump". Also, given the relative amount of time that this page was redirected to Quantum Leap (Over a year) as opposed to your redirect (four months), it should be you that should ask for the RFD, since this I plan on restoring the redirect based on Wikipedia guidelines of WP:REDIRECT, WP:RS, and WP:BRD.--JOJ Hutton 13:36, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
    You disagree with both BarrelProof and me. Also, not "my" redirect, but the one left behind when the physics article was moved from Quantum leap (where it had been since its creation in 2002) to Atomic electron transition by H Padleckas on 11:48, 13 January 2011.‎ -- JHunterJ (talk) 14:21, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
    It's not as much as disagreeing with the two of you, rather disagreeing with the idea that "Quantum leap" is majorly associated with "AET". Most of the sources are obscure at best. Not many websites, (none that I could find), use the phrase "Quantum leap" in association with "AET". Most, if not all, use the term "Quantum jump". This now becomes a reliable source issue, which is a core content policy, not even a guideline, but a policy. Unless you can come up with some reasoning as to why you feel that "Quantum leap" is more associated with "AET" than with the television show with the exact name, then policies must be adhered to, because it appears the term "Quantum leap" is rarely associated with "AET", if at all.--JOJ Hutton 15:42, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
    I don't think that's the ultimatum or burden here, since it does not appear that the policies are not being adhered to. My reasoning (and BarrelProof's) is above. But here:
    The show does not have this exact name. The show's title has a capital Q and a capital L. Wikipedia page titles are case-sensitive (except for the first letter). -- JHunterJ (talk) 16:17, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
    There may be a small faction who use "quantum leap" as an afterthought it appears, but how much does the rest of the world seem to care?
    Google web search results: "Quantum leap" "TV" 4,520,000 hits, "Quantum leap" "Atomic electron transition" 6990 hits. Mostly "mirror" sites.
    Yahoo web search results: "Quantum leap" "TV" 1,700,000 hits, "Quantum leap" "Atomic electron transition" 43 hits.
    AOL web search results: "Quantum leap" "TV" 4,520,000 hits, ["Quantum leap" "Atomic electron transition" 4,890 hits.
    The term "quantum leap" is an afterthought in reference to "AET" and is not the search term used by a great number of people using the web.--JOJ Hutton 17:16, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
    I didn't notice any of those that used lowercase "quantum leap" for the TV show, but I admit I didn't look very long. You're right; the rest of the world won't be harmed by the current arrangement, but the internal Wikilinking capability will be harmed by the proposed arrangement, since editors link quantum leap when they intend the physics stuff and Quantum Leap when they intend the TV show. -- JHunterJ (talk) 19:26, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
    Where do you assume that anyone typing "quantum leap" must be looking for the science? Most people won't capitalize the second word when they type it in looking for the TV show with that exact name, not the science topic that rarely uses "quantum leap" it's references.--JOJ Hutton 19:43, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
    I don't assume that the must be. On the other hand, I don't assume that they must be looking for the TV show either. The incoming wikilinks when I addressed the malplaced disambiguation page indicated that it was correctly targeted, and hatnote (and the search box predictions) will get the others to where they're going. Still, a WP:RFD consensus might decide that the lowercase version should go to the TV show as well. I again recommend it to you, since yours is so far the only voice for that change here. -- JHunterJ (talk) 20:59, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
    The page view numbers, plus the internet search hits, plus the reliables sources, plus the "actual name of the television show" pretty much confirm that "most" people typing in the search bar will be looking for the television show and not "AET". With the current redirect, more people will be redirected to a page in which they are not looking for. While if the redirect was restored, less people, if any, will be redirected to Quantum Leap, if that is not the article that they are looking for. "Quantum leap" appears to be one of those "also known as" type phrases for "AET" anyway. Not used very often. Thats why they moved the page last year in the first place, because it's not a very common name for that particular science. While on the other hand, "Quantum leap" is the actual name for the television show. Whether you want or think that someone will actual type in uppercase for both words is misplaced. Why send someone who actual types in the exact words of the television show to a completely unrelated article, that hardly uses those terms anyway? Can't expect everyone to actually type in uppercase when they are typing. That's why Star wars redirects to Star Wars. Can't nitpick the idea of uppercase and lowercase on this issue, especially when the article you wish to redirect "Quantum leap" to, rarely uses the term in many reliable sources. Furthermore, since we have already established that Quantum Leap gets a far greater amount of page views than Atomic electron transition, it is factual accuracy to conclude that if the page is redirected to "QL", the greater number of people who type in "Quantum leap" will reach there destination in one click and will not have to see the hat note, than would be if the page is redirected to "AET".--JOJ Hutton 22:22, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
  • If its not going to redirect to the actual title of the show using the actual same words in the actual same order, then at least go to a disambiguation page. And Wikipedia:Don't revert due solely to "no consensus".--JOJ Hutton 20:39, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

RfC: Should "quantum leap" (lowercase "l") redirect to "Quantum Leap" (uppercase "L") or to "Atomic electron transition"[edit]

Where should this redirect, redirect to? JOJ Hutton 19:47, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Capitalization differences are used to distinguish common nouns from Titles (Red Meat, red meat) per WP:PRECISION. This should redirect to the primary topic for "quantum leap" (uncapitalized), using the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC criteria. So far, there only criterion met was incoming wikilinks, which I referred to in this edit summary. Is there an indication using those criteria that a different topic should be primary for the lower-case title, or that there is no primary topic for the lower-case title? -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:02, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
As I stated in a prior discussion recorded above, I have the strong impression that a "quantum leap" (especially with lowercase "leap") is primarily a physics concept (e.g. Bernstein, Jeremy (2009). Quantum Leaps. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-03541-6. ), and that the television show (and other uses of the term) are derivatives of that origin. I suppose that, at the moment, we just have the same three people voicing the same same opinions as in the prior discussion recorded above. —BarrelProof (talk) 19:24, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
I took a look at the book that you linked. With the exception of the title (Upper case "L" by the way), do you know how many times the author uses the phrase "Quantum leap" in the book? Zero, nada, not at all. He uses "Quantum mechanics", "Quantum theory", "Quantum Physics", even "Quantum Measurments", but no evidence of Quantum leap. You say that you have a impression that a "quantum leap" (especially with lowercase "leap") is primarily a physics concept and that the television show (and other uses of the term) are derivatives of that origin. Isn't it possible that the term "Quantum Leap" is derivative of the television show? Why would an author call his book "Quantum Leap" and then not use the term once in his book? My strong impression is that he is trying to use the popularity of the show to sell his book, or at least the publisher is. This just convinces me more that "Atomic Electron Transition" is not the primary topic of Quantum leap.--JOJ Hutton 03:26, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
"Isn't it possible that the term 'Quantum Leap' is derivative of the television show?" No. The TV show debuted in 1989. Here's a Google Ngram for the term "quantum leap" before 1989: . Here's one definition from 1983[1] and a mention from 1938[2] and 1923[3] -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:49, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
I am no expert on the Requests for Comment (RfC) process. However, I notice that this particular RfC has been put into the "History and geography" category. That seems rather strange. Personally, I would suggest that it belongs under "Maths, science, and technology" and perhaps "Media, the arts, and architecture". The "History and geography" category seems clearly inappropriate. —BarrelProof (talk) 19:02, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
I checked this out solely because it was in the (seemingly) wrong section. Made me wonder. I weakly support moving it to science. I support redirecting the redirect to the TV show. A larger chunk of readers are probably going to be looking for that and an alarmingly growing chunk doesn't capitalize anything, ever. A "For the atomic event(?), see..." should be on the TV article, not the other way around. TV viewers outnumber physicists. InedibleHulk (talk) 01:44, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
Thats basically the argument I've been using the whole time.--JOJ Hutton 01:48, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, I noticed the mile-long discussion after I commented. I wouldn't have guessed it would be such an issue. Good luck to you, you're on the right side! InedibleHulk (talk) 01:59, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
Well it's good to hear that someone independently came to the same conclusion. I'm fairly confident that if this issue was left up to the general wiki-editor, they would come to the same conclusion as well. --JOJ Hutton 02:25, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
The basic problem with that argument is that it's not based on guidelines, like WP:PRECISION or WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. "You're on the right side!" doesn't counter WP:PRECISION. -- JHunterJ (talk) 10:58, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
"You're on the right side" wasn't intended as an argument. Just a comment to Hutton. I don't see anything in PRECISION that even applies here. PRIMARYTOPIC seems to favour the show, based on Wikilinks, page views, Google hits and this discussion. InedibleHulk (talk) 19:28, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
Those guidelines are for article titles, not redirects. There is no "primary article" called "Quantum leap". It should redirect to the exact phrase, word for word.--JOJ Hutton 11:54, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
That's wikilawyering. How does that logic for titles of articles not apply to titles of redirects? Why is the "word for word" (except for capitalization) redirect more beneficial to the encyclopedia than "to the primary topic" redirect? -- JHunterJ (talk) 13:31, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
What part of PTOPIC says anything about physical concepts, prior existence or effectiveness being factors? InedibleHulk (talk) 01:33, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Actually everything, but this part does it particularly clear:

A topic is primary for a term, with respect to long-term significance, if it has substantially greater enduring notability and educational value than any other topic associated with that term.

Absolutely unambiguous IMO. The other criterion – the more likely target – is also in favor of physics topic, as the TV show is only a likely search target at the places where it was aired, while physics concept is global, referred to from anywhere in the world (including numerous other TV shows).
P.S.: The argument "TV viewers outnumber physicists" is ridiculous – the physics article is of no interest to physicists (who know the topic otherwise), so the fair comparison (with both parts equally stretched) is "TV viewers" and "everybody except physicists", which isn't in favor of TV viewers. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talktrack) 07:59, 12 September 2012 (UTC) updated 08:13, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Fair enough. TV viewers outnumber people interested in physics, then. InedibleHulk (talk) 03:21, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
The TV show gets much higher viewer traffic than the Science. This much is verified. Its a fact. Your argument that the TV show hasn't aired in every country is not backed up with any facts.--JOJ Hutton 21:58, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
View traffic stats don't address the issue of long-term notability, which is a principle of the applicable policy. FWIW I'm not sure why you believe the traffic relevant here at all, as the title is the alternative name of the physical concept and is not the name of TV show. Period. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talktrack) 22:28, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
The title is an obscure alternate name, not used in most of the sources and is a less likely search term than people looking for the television show. The article traffic shows that there is a higher probability in collateral damage if we continue using this current redirect.--JOJ Hutton 03:04, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure of the basis for your judgment. I come across this alternative name more frequently then the primary name or any other. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talktrack) 07:53, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support redirecting to Atomic electron transition. If people search for the TV Show, they will use the Uppercase format. The Quantum leap already redirects to the Physics article, and I see no reason to not do the same here, unless you wish to do the same redirect to the TV show to that article too. In any case, there is a link to the TV show from the physics article anyways. TheOriginalSoni (talk) 14:57, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
    There is no evidence that people will use the uppercase format when searching for the television show. If, on the odd chance that a person looking for the science, goes to the television show, link at the television show can also redirect people to the proper article. Given the lower article traffic at that page, the collateral damage will be much less in that fashion.--JOJ Hutton 03:04, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
    You've repeatedly used the phrase 'collateral damage'. Personally, I don't think it's really damaging if TV show fans accidentally learn something about the physics concept that their TV show was named after, and then learn something from a hatnote about the proper capitalization of their TV show's title. —BarrelProof (talk) 05:13, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, no harm done if people consider unrelated information as valuable as the information they're actually seeking. If those people exist, they're a very small minority. As are people who capitalize search terms, I'll bet. Personally, I use proper English online everywhere anyone can see it (even chatting), but never in search boxes. Check out Google Trends; none of the terms that would normally be capitalized in a sentence (peyton manning, doctor who, indy 500) are in search. InedibleHulk (talk) 05:43, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
  • TV Show - The upper/lower case issue is not especially significant. The key issue here is how WP will disambiguate the phrase "Quantum leap" (any capitalization). We have three primary choices:
  1. QL is a disambig page
  2. QL is the TV show
  3. QL is the atomic transition

Whatever is decided, all upper/lower case variants should redirect to the same thing. The red meat / Red Meat example is not exactly applicable here, since there are two articles with those exact names, but in this situation, there are no articles named "quantum leap" or "Quantum leap". The only article named QL is Quantum Leap, which is choice #2 above, so it would be best if all upper/lower case spellings redirect to Quantum Leap and let the disambig hatnote do its job. Most users nowadays don't bother with upper case when searching. Another approach is to shift to #1 and create a redirect page, but that is not best for readers. --Noleander (talk) 13:40, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

  • It is exactly applicable here, since there is no reason not to apply it to redirects (since redirects are valid link targets and otherwise usable just like article titles, except for being the best title for the article). There are no articles named "quantum leap", so the current arrangement of hatnotes also do their jobs. And the current arrangement has the added benefit of serving to navigate readers who click on quantum leap wikilinks, all of which intended the transition. -- JHunterJ (talk) 18:43, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
  • TV show per page views and for screen reader users. I've been asked to comment on this issue from the latter perspective. All speech systems for blind people *never* read out capital letters when reading text by default, only when moving character by character. As a result, many blind people, especially young people blind from birth, are blissfully unaware of capitalisation conventions (even *I* didn't realise that "Wikipedia" was meant to be capitalised until I'd been editing the site for about a year)! Here's a fascinating New York Times article about this topic. Graham87 15:25, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
    I think this WP:ACCESSIBILITY argument is pretty compelling. Again, the red meat / Red Meat analogy is not applicable to this situation because WP has only one article named QL (whatever the caps). --Noleander (talk) 16:36, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
    As above, the analogy is applicable since WP has two articles on two topics that could be named QL (whatever the caps), one of which happens to have an even better name. -- JHunterJ (talk) 18:43, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
    The fact is that it is "not" titled that. The current redirect is a disservice to the needs and viewing patterns of the readers who have already determined, though the article traffic, that the television show is the primary topic for the actual name of the television show. JOJ Hutton 15:34, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
    The fact is the current redirect is not a disservice to the readers. I agree the television show is the primary topic for the actual name of the television show, but the actual name of the television show is "Quantum Leap", and the title "Quantum Leap" has the television show as its primary topic. Leaving the redirect quantum leap allows readers who are looking for "quantum leap" to find it, allows reader clicking through wikilinks to quantum leap to reach the right page (since those are never used for the TV show), and does not place too heavy a burden on the readers seeking the TV show who type in the search term in lowercase in the search box but don't select the topmost suggestion in the dropdown but instead hit enter and have to click through the hatnote. -- JHunterJ (talk) 16:01, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
  • TV show. I've always found distinguishing titles based solely on initial capitalization (distinct from all-cap acronyms) to be confusing. Simply because Red meat and Red Meat exist does not mean that is a good model to follow in all cases. I'd favor deprecating that example in WP:AT, but that may be a discussion for another time. In this case, the scientific theory is not very commonly referred to as "quantum leap" and should not be considered as the primary topic for the lower case term. A hatnote on the TV show should suffice for those looking for the scientific concept. olderwiser 16:55, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
    So WP:PRECISION should be updated, since it gives that as a model to follow? The scientific theory is the only topic for the lowercase title, so should not be considered as anything other than the primary topic for the lowercase term. Hatnotes on both already suffice for those looking for the other. -- JHunterJ (talk) 16:59, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
    You can't insist that the the scientific theory is the only topic for the lowercase title. Quantum leap is the obvious primary topic of Quantum Leap the TV show because not only is it the exact wording, but the TV show has the larger article views and therefore will be the most likely topic in any search.--JOJ Hutton 17:58, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
    I'm not insisting on it; I'm recognizing it. Under what scheme could the article on the TV show be titled "quantum leap"? (You've got the sentence reversed there, BTW. TV shows don't have primary topics; titles do.) -- JHunterJ (talk) 18:40, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
    The scientific theory is the only topic for the lowercase title -- that is precisely the point of this RFC I think. I happen to disagree that the scientific concept it the only topic for the lower case title. Most of the time I do not bother to capitalize when searching (as most modern search engines present results from all cases together). I'll go out on a limb and assume that I'm not unique in that respect (i.e., searching using all lower case). olderwiser 18:46, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
    I believe you've missed the point. There is only one subject on Wikipedia that is called "quantum leap" – the physical concept. Coincidentally the technical limitations of search make some people lend at that name when they are searching for something which is not called "quantum leap" – "Quantum Leap" tv show. Thus the main question of this RfC is whether technical limitation workaround should prevail over common (the only so far) title. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talktrack) 21:46, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
    Well, no, not at all. 1) while I'm sure there are some sources that do refer to the physics concept as "quantum leap" that is neither the common nor standard name for the concept. 2) One of the three important aspects of disambiguation on Wikipedia is Ensuring that a reader who searches for a topic using a particular term can get to the information on that topic quickly and easily. I have seen no evidence and very much doubt that most of the page traffic for "quantum leap" is for the physics concept. Of the available topics, I think the TV show is by far the most likely target for the phrase, regardless of capitalization. 3) To be perfectly honest, I think even the metaphorical sense, for which I do not think there is an article, is a more likely target for the term than the specific physical concept. olderwiser 22:02, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
    (EC) Its not the only subject. You can say it a million times and you will be a million times wrong. The television show is called Quantum Leap, whether or not someone types the name in with or without uppercase letters, shouldn't detract from the fact that this is the title of the article, word for word. The science article is not called this. This has been a major disruption to Wikipedia ever since it was redirected to the obscure and rarely used article.--JOJ Hutton 22:05, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
    You can say Wikipedia article titles are case insensitive a million times, and you will be a million times wrong. The questions of what title to give a topic and what topic to give a title are parallel but distinct. -- JHunterJ (talk) 22:33, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
    Nope not wrong, but thanks for the dramatics. People noticed. The science topic is called Atomic electron transition, not Quantum leap. Anyone looking for AET is less likely to type in "Quantum leap", while there is a much higher probability that anyone looking for Quantum Leap will type in "quantum leap". Its just a statistical fact that you haven't grasped yet. 20:1 more likely to happen according to the current article traffic stats.--JOJ Hutton 22:42, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
    Well, it doesn't even seem funny ever more. Obviously titles are case-sensitive on Wikipedia; otherwise Quantum Leap and quantum leap were the same page. Though facilitating search is a good cause, I see nowhere on Wikipedia any mention that addressing technical limitations should prevail over primary topics, so the whole case-insensitive drama still needs some policy or guideline to be based on. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talktrack) 22:51, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
    First I don't ever remembering typing that articles were not case sensitive. Don't know where that's coming from. Its the fact that people typing don't care that they are case sensitive and will be more likely to actually type in "quantum leap" than to type it in with uppercase. Article traffic views already prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the television show is the more popular of the two articles. People typing in "quantum leap" will be redirected to an article in which they were not looking for. Thats called collateral damage. Nothing is worse tan to be taken to an article you were not looking for. Quantum Leap gets well near or over 50,000 views a month, while Atomic electron transition is averaging around 2,000 a month. Its a no-brainer which article is the most likely search term, especially given that the article and the redirect share the exact same name. Its called WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. Its doesn't get more primary than the exact same name.--JOJ Hutton 23:01, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
    (EC) There is to my knowledge ZERO evidence that the physics concept is the primary topic for the lower case. Without any actual evidence, there is simply no basis for making search less useful, simply because it is possible to make lower case and upper case different titles. olderwiser 23:03, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
    Very good argument. Now that we have a majority on the RFC, the title should be redirected to Quantum Leap, until such time as a new consensus is formed, or the RFC is closed.--JOJ Hutton 23:07, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
    There is ZERO evidence that there is more than one topic for the lower case. Without any actual evidence, there is simply no basis for making Wikipedia less useful by leading readers from Wikilinks to quantum leap to an article other than the one intended. Happily, it is possible to make lower case and upper case different titles, so nothing needs to be made less useful. And, Jojhutton, RFCs aren't polls, and no new consensus has been formed in this one. -- JHunterJ (talk) 23:49, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
    Here is the evidence Quantum leap is the actual name of the television show, with or without uppercase. Say it, it sounds the same. I don't know what you are playing at anymore, but it looks like a stall tactic. If there is a problem with the wikilinks, that is easily rectified. And you need to accpet the consnsus of the RFC, you don't get to decide, but somehow I knew you would say that. But define consensus in this case, if you will. What will it take before you accept the findings of the RFC?--JOJ Hutton 23:56, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
    I haven't decided the RfC. You also don't get to decide it. You do get to assume good faith, however. Say "Red Meat" and "red meat", they sound the same too. I have no doubt that this RFC will need a formal close by an uninvolved party, since neither of the competing rationales is sufficient to sway the holders of the other. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:21, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
    You keep using that same "Red Meat" example and its not the same because each of those articles is a stand alone article whereas two articles in question here are completely different sounding. The redirect should go to the article that is most similar in name.--JOJ Hutton 13:19, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
    The dramatics are yours, so the credit for them is yours as well. If you'll drop the misplaced rhetoric, I won't turn it around. -- JHunterJ (talk) 23:49, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

There is a technical aspect not considered so far: if you type 'quantum leap' in the searchbox, you are presented a list of suggestions, currently Quantum Leap, Quantum leap and a number of individual Quantum Leap seasons. I think the best solution would be if the top suggestions were Quantum leap (physics), Quantum Leap (TV series) and Quantum Leap (metaphor), in any order and any capitalization. That way every reader would be aware of the different meanings and could easily pick the one they're looking for, without anybody landing on the 'wrong' page, not even on a disambiguation page. I'm not sure if and how that's possible to achieve though.

Currently Atomic electron transition is a rather low quality stub, and the physical concept is not limited to transitions of electrons in atoms. Renaming to Quantum leap (physics) and maybe incorporating some material from Quantensprung could help. The metaphor is only mentioned in a single sentence in the physics article. For now it might be enough to expand that a bit and then redirect Quantum Leap (metaphor) to that section.

Regarding the original RFC question, I don't have a strong opinion. I lean slightly towards TV show, but see a possible conflict between the usage and long-term significance criteria of WP:PTOPIC. — HHHIPPO 12:04, 23 September 2012 (UTC)

No new discussion for changing the existing consensus[edit]

See also: Talk:Quantum leap (disambiguation)#Redirect, Quantum leap (disambiguation) (which you're invalidating with this undiscussed change), Talk:Quantum Leap#Page move, and the above RfC. Please open a new RfC if you think all of that has changed. -- JHunterJ (talk) 12:35, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

Why don't you count again. The existing consensus is and has always been to redirect to the TV show. The new editors whom you are edit warring against only confirm this as well.--JOJ Hutton 13:08, 14 February 2015 (UTC)