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Homogeneity and heterogeneity

Homogeneity and heterogeneity are concepts relating to the uniformity or lack thereof in a substance. A material that is homogeneous is uniform in composition or character; one that is heterogeneous lacks uniformity in one of these qualities.

The concepts are applicable to combinations at every level of complexity, from atoms to populations of animals or people, to galaxies. Hence, a substance may be homogeneous on a larger scale, compared to being heterogeneous on a smaller scale within the same substance. This is known as an effective medium approach, or effective medium approximations.


Heterogeneity is the state of being heterogeneous . It is the nature of opposition, or contrariety of qualities. Pertaining to the sciences, it is a substance that is diverse in kind or nature; composed of diverse parts. In other words, it is composed of dissimilar parts, hence the constituents are of a different kind. The parts (or constituents) are connected, and of a conglomerate mass, and viewed in respect to the parts of which it is made up.

Various disciplines understand heterogeneity, or being heterogeneous, in different ways. For example:

  • In physics it is understood as having more than one phase (solid, liquid, gas) present in a system or process.
  • In chemistry it means visibly consisting of different components.
  • With information technology it means a network comprising different types of computers, potentially with vastly differing memory sizes, processing power and even basic underlying architecture. Alternatively, a data resource with multiple types of formats.
  • Rocks (geology) are inherently heterogeneous, usually occurring at the micro-scale and mini-scale.


Homogeneity is the state of being homogeneous. Pertaining to the sciences, it is a substance where all the constituents are of the same nature; consisting of similar parts, or of elements of the like nature. For example, homogeneous particles, homogeneous elements, homogeneous principles, or homogeneous bodies; or (algebra) possessing the same number of factors of a given kind, as with a homogeneous polynomial.


In mathematics, homogeneous may refer to:


A heterogeneous mixture is a mixture of two or more compounds. Examples are: mixtures of sand and water or sand and iron filings, a conglomerate rock, water and oil, a salad, trail mix, and concrete (not cement). During the sampling of heterogeneous mixtures of particles, the variance of the sampling error is generally non-zero. Gy's sampling theory quantitatively defines the heterogeneity of a particle as:

h_i = \frac{(c_i - c_\text{batch})m_i}{c_\text{batch} m_\text{aver}} .

where h_i, c_i, c_\text{batch}, m_i, and m_\text{aver} are respectively: the heterogeneity of the ith particle of the population, the mass concentration of the property of interest in the ith particle of the population, the mass concentration of the property of interest in the population, the mass of the ith particle in the population, and the average mass of a particle in the population.

Homogenization is the process of causing a heterogeneous mixture to become homogeneous, as is done with the making of homogenized milk.

Homogeneous and heterogeneous reactions

Homogeneous reactions are chemical reactions in which the reactants are in the same phase, while heterogeneous reactions have reactants in two or more phases. Reactions that take place on the surface of a catalyst of a different phase are also heterogeneous. A reaction between two gases, two liquids or two solids is homogeneous. A reaction between a gas and a liquid, a gas and a solid or a liquid and a solid is heterogeneous.

A mixture can be determined to be homogeneous when everything is settled and equal, and the liquid, gas, object is one color or the same form. Various models have been proposed to model the concentrations in different phases. The phenomena to be considered are mass rates and reaction rates. Surface area affects the reaction rate of heterogeneous reactions but not homogeneous reactions.


Genetic heterogeneity refers to multiple origins causing the same disorder in different individuals. Heterogeneity of ion channels means diversity of different types of channels serving a specific kind of current, e.g. by channels with different constitutive subunits.

From Yahoo Answers

Question:i need to no it for exam tomorrow so please help me. 10 points best answer

Answers:solutions are things in which the two things completely dissolve into eachother. The particles are all smaller than 10^-9 meters like sugar water, salty water, ect.. things like that. Heterogeneous mixtures include all colloids and suspensions Colloids are things like toothpaste, milk, some sodas, the particles are in between 10^-7 and 10^-9 meters in size. The main difference between this and suspension is that colloidal particles never settle to the bottom, they all travel in zigzag movements called brownian movement Suspensions are ones in which the particles are all larger than 10^-7 meters in diameter. The particles settle to the bottom, some examples are muddy water. Sandy water, the particles settle to the bottom eventually.

Question:THANK YOU ; )

Answers:milk(straight from the cow) blood, vinegar salt water, sugar water, and water.

Question:explain and give examples please and name whether or not these are a heterogeneous mixture or a solution maple syrup-- [i got solution] seawater-- [i got solution] melted rocky road ice cream-- [i got heterogeneous mixture] but i'm not sure. confused, but i am. i did my homework, but i said i wasn't sure if i got it right. i kind of know the definition of these words, but it's hard to identify it. but thanks

Answers:Yes, you are correct. Homogeneous appears the same throughout. Hetro: you can see bits and pieces in it.

Question:Okay, I have a test in chemistry this Wednesday and I'm SUPER confused about all of these terms. Can someone PLEASE help me??

Answers:Solid, liquid, and gas are three phases of matter, determined by temperature and pressure. When a substance is solid it is locked into a specific form. This is the coldest form; heat is just a measurement of how much the atoms 'wiggle', and they are wiggling so little that they stay in a set pattern. As the atoms wiggle a little bit more they get enough energy to break free, but they are still somewhat attracted to one another, so they roll all over each other, and you get a liquid. As they get even more energy and move faster and faster they overcome that force of attraction and are moving so fast that they can't 'grab on' as they pass one another, and you get a gas. Pressure plays into it too. For example, water expands when it freezes, so if it is under a lot of pressure it won't freeze even if it's cold enough, because the pressure keeps it squished into liquid form. This is why there are some lakes miles under the ice in Antarctica; the water is below freezing, but the weight of the ice sheet stops it from freezing and expanding. Homogeneous and heterogeneous refer to mixtures. A mixture is a bunch of stuff which exists all mixed together but which doesn't combine chemically. A Homogeneous mixture is uniform; that is, the same all throughout. You won't see layers in this, everything is evenly spread out. Heterogeneous mixtures have more than one phase. There are further subdivisions. A colloid looks homogeneous, but, microscopically, it is heterogeneous. Milk is an example of a colloid. The particles which are dispersed in a colloid are very small (between one nanometer and one micrometer). In milk, these dispersed particles are little globs of fat which have been emulsified. Heterogeneous mixtures with particles larger than 1 micrometer are called suspensions. These particles are big enough to fall out all on their own; this is called sedimentation. An example would be flour mixed with water; the flour will all gather at the bottom if you let it sit long enough. Homogeneous mixtures with a solvent and a solute is called a solution. The solutes are particles smaller than one nanometer, and the solvent is the continuous medium (usually a liquid) which surrounds them, dissolving them. Salt water is an example of a solution. There are many different types of these (A colloid of a liquid dispersed in air is an aerosol, a suspension of a gas dispersed in a solid is a foam, etc.), but that's the basic gist of it.

From Youtube

OpenRL Heterogeneous Computing Example :OpenRL is the world's first cross platform, heterogeneous API for ray tracing. It runs on Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows, and will identify and take advantage of CPUs, GPUs, and custom hardware devices all simultaneously. Ray tracing application developers can download and evaluate OpenRL free-of-charge from our website. This technical example demonstrates OpenRL's heterogeneous computing ability by leveraging a Macbook Pro's Intel Core 2 Duo processor, together with an NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor to solve the ray tracing problem. Essentially whichever device is ready to do more work then OpenRL will assign more rays to it. The result is the fastest performance of ray tracing on a laptop today.