What is dispersion?

Natalya Kosenko
Natalya Kosenko
January 21, 2015
What is dispersion?

It is impossible to answer the question “What is dispersion?” Unequivocally, since this term has several meanings.

Translated from Latin, the dispersion is translated as “scattering”, which can be interpreted as a slight deviation, the variation from the average.

What is dispersion in different areas?

  1. In math. Dispersion is one of the main properties of a random variable and means its deviation from the mathematical expectation. The variance of X is denoted as DX. Dispersion may be infinite, but by no means negative.
  2. In physics. The concept of the dispersion of light, used in the theory of wave physics, refers to the refractive index of matter from the wavelength of light. The dispersion decomposition of light was first discovered by Newton, conducting experiments with a prism. Her prime example is rainbow. The reason for the dispersion of light is the different speed of propagation of rays in the optical medium.
  3. In chemistry. The dispersion of chemical compounds is a mixture of two or more substances that are finely distributed in each other. At the same time they can be easily separated by a physical method.This property is widely used in the manufacture of building mixtures: primers, plasters, paints for exterior and interior. For example, a putty made on the basis of a water dispersion of a polymer is better than plaster or cement with its environmental friendliness and long shelf life.
  4. In biology. Means a variety of traits in a particular form or population. Genotypic dispersion implies diversity due to mutations. Phenotypic dispersion is a variation of the phenotypes of the same gene, depending on different environmental conditions.
  5. In poker In this case, the variance determines the difference between the expected win and the results of the game at a short distance. Uncertainty of results or variance is the main feature of the game of poker. This must be taken into account to determine the value of the required bankroll.
  6. In slot machines. Casino regulars know what the slot machine displays. In devices with low dispersion, there is a high frequency of winnings, but their size is small. Devices with a high dispersion give out big winnings, but much less often.Knowledge of variance reduces the risk of loss.

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