Skip to main content
Select Source:

dispersion

dispersion
1. The spreading of a body of water as it flows. Lateral dispersion is the widening of the path taken by ground-water as it flows from a known point of origin through a rock matrix, due to its movement around individual mineral grains within the main rock body. Unless it flows in well-defined fissures or fractures, water does not travel through a rock in a straight line but is forced to flow across a widening front because of the granular nature of the rock matrix. Longitudinal dispersion is the spreading out of a body of water along its own flow path, due to the differences in water velocities in larger and smaller pores of the rock. Both modes of dispersion are normally observed by means of tracers. Lateral and longitudinal dispersion also occur in river channels, where they are due to differences in flow velocity across the channel and between the water surface and the bed, and also to random fluctuations in velocity caused by turbulent eddies.

2. The process of separating soil particles (as in aggregates) from each other so that they may react as individual particles. Aggregates or peds of soil particles are destroyed by dispersion (and their formation is initiated by flocculation.

3. The distortion of a wave train that occurs when velocity varies with frequency and consequently the phase velocity is not the same as the group velocity. There is minimal dispersion for most body waves (although electromagnetic body waves are subject to considerable dispersion) but it is important for surface waves, especially Love waves, particularly in the presence of velocity-layering near the surface.

4. In mineral optics, a measure of the difference in refractive index, determined by direct observation of the biaxial interference figure using the two extreme wavelengths of the visible spectrum (red and violet). Both isogyres are observed for red and violet tints.

5. See SWELL.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"dispersion." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"dispersion." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 15, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dispersion

"dispersion." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Retrieved September 15, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dispersion

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

dispersion

dispersion
1. In statistics, the internal pattern of a population (i.e. its distribution about the mean value). In spatial statistics, the pattern relative to some specific location, or of individuals relative to one another (e.g. clumped or random).

2. In pedology, the process of separating soil particles (as in aggregates) from each other so that they may react as individual particles. Aggregates or peds of soil particles are destroyed by dispersion (and formation is initiated by flocculation).

3. The spreading of a body of water as it flows. Lateral dispersion is the widening of the path taken by groundwater as it flows from a known point of origin through a rock matrix, owing to its movement around individual mineral grains within the main rock body. Unless it flows in well-defined fissures or fractures, water does not travel through a rock in a straight line but is forced to flow across a widening front because of the granular nature of the rock matrix. Longitudinal dispersion is the spreading out of a body of water along its own flow path, due to the differences in water velocities in larger and smaller pores of the rock. Both modes of dispersion are normally observed by means of tracers. Lateral and longitudinal dispersion also occur in river channels, where they are caused by differences in flow velocity across the channel and between the water surface and the bed, and also by random fluctuations in velocity caused by turbulent eddies.

4. See swell.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"dispersion." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"dispersion." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 15, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dispersion-0

"dispersion." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Retrieved September 15, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dispersion-0

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

dispersion (in chemistry)

dispersion, in chemistry, mixture in which fine particles of one substance are scattered throughout another substance. A dispersion is classed as a suspension, colloid, or solution. Generally, the particles in a solution are of molecular or ionic size; those in a colloid are larger but too small to be observed with an ordinary microscope; those in a suspension can be observed under a microscope or with the naked eye. A coarse mixture (e.g., sand mixed with sugar) is usually not thought of as a dispersion.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"dispersion (in chemistry)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"dispersion (in chemistry)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 15, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/dispersion-chemistry

"dispersion (in chemistry)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved September 15, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/dispersion-chemistry

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

dispersion

dispersion
1. In statistics, the internal pattern of a population, i.e. its distribution about the mean value. In spatial statistics, the pattern relative to some specific location, or of individuals relative to one another, e.g. clumped or random.

2. In pedology, the process of separating soil particles (as in aggregates) from each other so that they may react as individual particles. Aggregates or peds of soil particles are destroyed by dispersion (and formation is initiated by flocculation).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"dispersion." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"dispersion." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 15, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dispersion-1

"dispersion." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Retrieved September 15, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dispersion-1

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

dispersion

dispersion In statistics, the internal pattern of a population, i.e. its distribution about the mean value. In spatial statistics, the pattern relative to some specific location, or of individuals relative to one another, e.g. clumped or random.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"dispersion." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"dispersion." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 15, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dispersion-2

"dispersion." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Retrieved September 15, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dispersion-2

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

dispersion (in physics)

dispersion, in physics: see spectrum.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"dispersion (in physics)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"dispersion (in physics)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 15, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/dispersion-physics

"dispersion (in physics)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved September 15, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/dispersion-physics

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

dispersion

dispersion See measures of variation.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"dispersion." A Dictionary of Computing. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"dispersion." A Dictionary of Computing. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 15, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/computing/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dispersion

"dispersion." A Dictionary of Computing. . Retrieved September 15, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/computing/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dispersion

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

dispersion

dispersionashen, fashion, passion, ration •abstraction, action, attraction, benefaction, compaction, contraction, counteraction, diffraction, enaction, exaction, extraction, faction, fraction, interaction, liquefaction, malefaction, petrifaction, proaction, protraction, putrefaction, redaction, retroaction, satisfaction, stupefaction, subtraction, traction, transaction, tumefaction, vitrifaction •expansion, mansion, scansion, stanchion •sanction •caption, contraption •harshen, Martian •cession, discretion, freshen, session •abjection, affection, circumspection, collection, complexion, confection, connection, convection, correction, defection, deflection, dejection, detection, direction, ejection, election, erection, genuflection, imperfection, infection, inflection, injection, inspection, insurrection, interconnection, interjection, intersection, introspection, lection, misdirection, objection, perfection, predilection, projection, protection, refection, reflection, rejection, resurrection, retrospection, section, selection, subjection, transection, vivisection •exemption, pre-emption, redemption •abstention, apprehension, ascension, attention, circumvention, comprehension, condescension, contention, contravention, convention, declension, detention, dimension, dissension, extension, gentian, hypertension, hypotension, intention, intervention, invention, mention, misapprehension, obtention, pension, prehension, prevention, recension, retention, subvention, supervention, suspension, tension •conception, contraception, deception, exception, inception, interception, misconception, perception, reception •Übermenschen • subsection •ablation, aeration, agnation, Alsatian, Amerasian, Asian, aviation, cetacean, citation, conation, creation, Croatian, crustacean, curation, Dalmatian, delation, dilation, donation, duration, elation, fixation, Galatian, gyration, Haitian, halation, Horatian, ideation, illation, lavation, legation, libation, location, lunation, mutation, natation, nation, negation, notation, nutation, oblation, oration, ovation, potation, relation, rogation, rotation, Sarmatian, sedation, Serbo-Croatian, station, taxation, Thracian, vacation, vexation, vocation, zonation •accretion, Capetian, completion, concretion, deletion, depletion, Diocletian, excretion, Grecian, Helvetian, repletion, Rhodesian, secretion, suppletion, Tahitian, venetian •academician, addition, aesthetician (US esthetician), ambition, audition, beautician, clinician, coition, cosmetician, diagnostician, dialectician, dietitian, Domitian, edition, electrician, emission, fission, fruition, Hermitian, ignition, linguistician, logician, magician, mathematician, Mauritian, mechanician, metaphysician, mission, monition, mortician, munition, musician, obstetrician, omission, optician, paediatrician (US pediatrician), patrician, petition, Phoenician, physician, politician, position, rhetorician, sedition, statistician, suspicion, tactician, technician, theoretician, Titian, tuition, volition •addiction, affliction, benediction, constriction, conviction, crucifixion, depiction, dereliction, diction, eviction, fiction, friction, infliction, interdiction, jurisdiction, malediction, restriction, transfixion, valediction •distinction, extinction, intinction •ascription, circumscription, conscription, decryption, description, Egyptian, encryption, inscription, misdescription, prescription, subscription, superscription, transcription •proscription •concoction, decoction •adoption, option •abortion, apportion, caution, contortion, distortion, extortion, portion, proportion, retortion, torsion •auction •absorption, sorption •commotion, devotion, emotion, groschen, Laotian, locomotion, lotion, motion, notion, Nova Scotian, ocean, potion, promotion •ablution, absolution, allocution, attribution, circumlocution, circumvolution, Confucian, constitution, contribution, convolution, counter-revolution, destitution, dilution, diminution, distribution, electrocution, elocution, evolution, execution, institution, interlocution, irresolution, Lilliputian, locution, perlocution, persecution, pollution, prosecution, prostitution, restitution, retribution, Rosicrucian, solution, substitution, volution •cushion • resumption • München •pincushion •Belorussian, Prussian, Russian •abduction, conduction, construction, deduction, destruction, eduction, effluxion, induction, instruction, introduction, misconstruction, obstruction, production, reduction, ruction, seduction, suction, underproduction •avulsion, compulsion, convulsion, emulsion, expulsion, impulsion, propulsion, repulsion, revulsion •assumption, consumption, gumption, presumption •luncheon, scuncheon, truncheon •compunction, conjunction, dysfunction, expunction, function, junction, malfunction, multifunction, unction •abruption, corruption, disruption, eruption, interruption •T-junction • liposuction •animadversion, aspersion, assertion, aversion, Cistercian, coercion, conversion, desertion, disconcertion, dispersion, diversion, emersion, excursion, exertion, extroversion, immersion, incursion, insertion, interspersion, introversion, Persian, perversion, submersion, subversion, tertian, version •excerption

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"dispersion." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"dispersion." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 15, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dispersion

"dispersion." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved September 15, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/dispersion

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.