I wonder how many instances of the phrase “quantum leap” Scott Bakula is personally responsible for? There is, as many others have observed before me, a hefty dose of irony in calling a major transition a “quantum leap” or “quantum jump,” as the original leaps to gain the name were the transitions of electrons between energy levels. We’re talking about an electron’s “orbit” changing its diameter from one zillionth of a centimeter to four zillionths of a centimeter. But science never stands in the way of evocative, quasi-scientific jargon!
It’s old irony, but it’s still worth a chuckle, as when India’s prime minister declares, “We need a quantum jump in science education and research.” Start at the top, my friend, start at the top. OK, points for effort:
â€œWe are planning to fund 30 new Central Universities, five new Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research, eight new Indian Institutes of Technology, and 20 new Indian Institutes of Information Technology,â€ Singh said. In the next five years, he added, India will also be launching 1,600 polytechnics, 10,000 vocational schools and 50,000 skill-development centres. One million schoolchildren will receive science innovation scholarships of 5,000 rupees (US$130) each over the next five years, and 10,000 scholarships of 100,000 rupees per year will go to those enrolling on science degree courses.
Meanwhile, in the United States, we’re too busy screwing over our children to provide for their education.