Homogeneity and heterogeneity

Heterogeneity refers to the non-uniformity of the elements of a set or the components of a body. The term is found in all natural and social sciences. The parent system (body, total amount, etc.) is referred to as heterogeneous, not its individual components.

In contrast to heterogeneity is homogeneity. In a heterogeneous system, the properties at interfaces can change abruptly, or vary greatly from individual to individual. In a heterogeneous mixture can, in contrast to a homogeneous mixture, distinguish the different particles with the naked eye or using a microscope.

Systems are generally referred to as inhomogeneous with less deviation from the homogeneity, for example, a material with uniform components, but from place to place variable density. The word usage varies depending on the field a bit. In the picture on the right is inhomogeneity illustrated in the middle of heterogeneity.

For heterogeneous systems or populations applies: Based on a small sample can not connect to the whole man.

  • Lava Lamp: a phase of water and a wax phase
  • Reinforced concrete
  • A rock, such as granite