Annotation - Chapter 8, Page 48
- (48:3) "the Nos. of the rain bow and the fire qwanter"
Qwanter = quanta. Quantum physics gets its name from the notion that particles and waves change from one energy state to another according to fixed numbers or quanta. For instance, electrons "orbiting" the nucleus of an atom cannot be in just any orbit, just certain allowable ones, each with a specific potential energy. The difference between any two energy states is a fixed quantum, which also corresponds to the frequency of light that is emitted if the electron drops from a higher to a lower state. Thus, quantum numbers determine the color of light that is absorbed or reflected by atoms (the rainbow) or given off by heated matter (fire). EB
Or, more simply: it's an inversion of the two halves of the word quantifier. In linguistics usage, a quantifier is a term that quantifies (in the phrase "five red shoes" the word five is a quantifier). The fact that in Riddley's time the word has been ripped in half linguistically mirrors the fate of the Littl Shyning Man. DR The standard usage of "quantifier" in logic and mathematics is to describe the concepts "all" (X is always true) and "exists" (X is true at least once)—and their converses, "none exist" and "not all". This suggests that fire qwanter has a meaning similar to that of the all or nothing number in the Eusa Story. JC