Glossary – Q


Qin dynasty (221–206 BCE): the 1st imperial dynasty in China, named after its heartland of Qin (modern-day Gansu and Shaanxi provinces). Qin state power was augmented by legalist reforms in 4th century BCE, during the Warring States period. Qin unified the country by conquest, whereupon it sought to create an authoritarian imperial state, fueled by a stable economy able to support a large military. The Qin central government minimized aristocratic power, gaining direct control of the mass population of peasants. This afforded ambitious projects, including a wall on its northern border, now known as the Great Wall of China.

quadratic: an equation involving terms of the 2nd degree at most.

quahog (aka quahaug, hard clam, round clam, hard-shelled clam): a marine bivalve mollusk.

quail: a mid-sized bird of several genera.

Quaker (aka Quaker Oats) (1901–2001): American oats supplier formed by merging 4 oat mills, which evolved into a breakfast cereal company. Quaker was bought by Pepsi, a fizzy drinks company, in 2001.

Quakers: an evangelical Protestant group which believes in the innate goodness of humanity, and the personal ability to contact God. The Quakers first arose in England during the mid-17th century. Frugal and plainly dressed, Quakers privately pursue a direct religious experience with divinity. Their fastidious discipline makes them “natural capitalists,” as the BBC opined. Quakers founded several English financial institutions, including Barclays, Lloyds, and Friends Provident. Those with a sweet tooth established what are now the big 3 British confectioners: Cadbury, Rowntree, and Fry’s.

quantitative easing (QE): a monetary policy implemented by central banks to stimulate the economy via buying financial assets. QE is essentially a bailout of private financial institutions at taxpayer expense.

quantum (physics) (plural: quanta): an infinitesimal chunk of ripple in a localized energy field that appears particulate (via quantization).

quantum chromodynamics (QCD): a theory of the nuclear strong force applying to fermions, characterizing the interactions between quarks and gluons which comprise hadrons.

quantum coherence: the efficiency (coherence) of seeming quantum particles behaving in a wavelike manner.

quantum degeneracy pressure: extreme pressure at quantum scale, pushing fermions to the closest possible quarters. According to the Pauli exclusion principle, 2 fermions cannot occupy the same space simultaneously. In a quantum system an energy level is degenerate if it corresponds to multiple measurable states.

quantum effect: a physical 4d effect reflecting hd dynamics. Entanglement is a quantum effect.

quantum electrodynamics (QED): a relativistic quantum field theory of electrodynamics.

quantum field theory (QFT) (aka quantum theory, quantum mechanics): a theoretical framework explaining subatomic interactions from a particle perspective.

quantum fluctuation: an energy change at a spacetime point arising from the uncertainty principle.

quantum foam: the characterization of an energetic ground state as a froth of virtual particles continually perturbed by ghost fields.

quantum mechanics: a theoretical framework explaining subatomic interactions from a particle perspective.

quantum gravity: a quest to explain gravity at the quantum level.

quantum information theory: the idea that a quantum system is a repository of information.

quantum spin liquid: a liquid state of magnetism achieved by quantum entanglement. Compare ferromagnetism, antiferromagnetism.

quantum tunneling: a particle overcoming its 4D classical confines to move itself through an HD wormhole. The practical size limit of transistors is set by quantum tunneling, as electrons could bypass the carved path in a too-small transistor.

quark: a subatomic particle that serves as the combinational seed for protons, neutrons, and hadrons.

quark star: a star comprising strange quark matter, evolved from an aged neutron star.

quartz: a crystal in a framework of silicon-oxygen (SiO4) tetrahedra, where each tetrahedron shares an oxygen atom, effectively rendering SiO2. Quartz is abundant in Earth’s continental crust.

quasar: a cosmic energy source caused by the spin-off of a black hole.

quasiparticle: an emergent approximation of fermionic behavior. Localized subatomic energies which mimic bosons are termed collective excitations.

Quaternary (2.588 mya–now): the 3rd of 3 geological periods in the Cenozoic era, characterized by a series of glaciations and the appearance, and global radiation, of modern humans.

Queen Anne’s lace (aka wild carrot, Daucus carota): a variable biennial plant native to temperate regions of Europe and southwest Asia. Wild carrot root is edible while young, but quickly becomes too woody. Described by Hippocrates as a contraceptive.

quelea: a seed-eating African passerine in the weaver family.

QUERTY: a keyboard layout based upon the frequency of letter usage in English. The term derives from the first 6 keys on the top-left letter row. The ubiquitous querty layout is inefficient, in having only 1 vowel (a) on the home row, even though most English words contain a vowel. This forces the fingers to travel off the home row for most words. Other, more efficient keyboard layouts have been designed, but none have even remotely approached querty in common usage.

quietude: the state of consciousness characterized by being awake with a quiet mind (nattermind subdued). See enlightenment.

quinoa (pronounced: ki:nwa): the seed of an herb in the goosefoot genus (Chenopodium). Quinoa is very nutritious.

quinone: a class of aromatic organic compounds variously comprising carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, chlorine, and/or nitrogen. Numerous critters produce quinones.

quintessence (physics): a hypothetical form of dark energy that is dynamic, unlike the alternately proposed cosmological constant.

quitrent: rent paid by a freeholder in lieu of performing required services.

 quorum-sensing: decision-making in a decentralized network.