- the variation of the index of refraction of a transparent substance, as glass, with the wavelength of light, with the index of refraction increasing as the wavelength decreases.
- the separation of white or compound light into its respective colors, as in the formation of a spectrum by a prism.
Origin of dispersion
Examples from the Web for dispersion
Prince John resumed his retreat from the lists, and the dispersion of the multitude became general.Ivanhoe|Walter Scott
I remark first that maize is a plant singularly unprovided with means of dispersion and protection.Origin of Cultivated Plants|Alphonse De Candolle
The enormous significance of the Dispersion as a preparation for Christianity must not be overlooked.The Expositor's Bible:|Alfred Plummer
The dispersion of the unhappy race, particularly in the West, was now complete and final.
The dispersion of this fluid appears to be universal, so that all the parts and organs contain it in a greater or less degree.An Introduction to Entomology: Vol. IV (of 4)|William Kirby
British Dictionary definitions for dispersion (1 of 2)
- the separation of electromagnetic radiation into constituents of different wavelengths
- a measure of the ability of a substance to separate by refraction, expressed by the first differential of the refractive index with respect to wavelength at a given value of wavelengthSymbol: D
- the range of speeds of such objects as the stars in a galaxy
- the frequency-dependent retardation of radio waves as they pass through the interstellar medium
- the deviation of a rocket from its prescribed path
British Dictionary definitions for dispersion (2 of 2)
Word Origin and History for dispersion
late 14c., from Old French dispersion (13c.), from Latin dispersionem (nominative dispersio) "a scattering," noun of action from past participle stem of dispergere (see disperse).