Recently, in a short interview by Richard Dawkins for his recent documentary "Enemies of Reason", Deepak Chopra took his hijacking of the scientific terminology to an even greater depth of depravity. During a segment (which can be viewed here), Chopra claimed that:
"the aficionados in the world of quantum physics have somehow hijacked the word for their own use"This is a rather amazing feat by physicists considering that the word first entered the scientific literature in 1841, 105 years before Chopra's birth. Apparently quantum theorists have mastered time travel in their spare time.
The word quantum was first used by Julius von Mayer in a letter on the formulation of the first law of thermodynamics. The word comes from the Latin "quantus" for "how much". It is generally used as a short hand way of writing a 'quantum of energy', meaning a single unit of energy. A good example being how a photon is a single quantum of the electromagnetic force.
The term quantum has since gone on to refer to the area of physics that involves the very small. It is renowned as being an area of science that is both counter intuitive and hard to grasp. This was summed up perfectly by Richard Feynman when he stated "If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don't understand quantum mechanics".
This quote, along with the myriad bizarre concepts of the quantum realm have fed an ever growing number of charlatans who profit off the ignorance of the general public when it comes to the various fields of advance science. They know that such words as quantum lend an air of respectability to their otherwise meaningless ramblings. In doing so, they further mislead the public away from the discoveries of science, not to mention out of their hard earned cash.
Despite sounding authentic and wise to laymen, Deepak Chopra and his ilk earn nothing but ire and perpetual face palms from the scientific community. His stance on 'quantum' can be summed up by this clip from the ever poignant "Futurama", enjoy.