Heterogeneous is an adjective that means that something is composed of elements or parts of different nature. Some words that have a similar meaning are ‘miscellaneous’, ‘mixed’, ‘mixed’ and ‘mixed’.
The word heterogeneous comes from the Latin heterogenĕus, which in turn derives from the Greek ἑτερογενής (heterogenḗs), formed by ἕτερος (straight, ‘different’, ‘other’) and γένος (genos, ‘gender’, ‘race’).
A heterogeneous system is a mixture formed by the union of two or more pure substances, which maintain independent properties and that can be distinguished with the naked eye. The components of a mixture or a heterogeneous system can be separated through simple methods such as filtration, decantation or leaching. This system is not uniform and its parts can be appreciated.
When a group is made up of people with differentiating characteristics, they speak of a heterogeneous group or the heterogeneity of a group.
It applies, for example, when in a group there are people of all genders or of different races. This concept refers to some kind of diversity among its members.
Heterogeneous and homogeneous
In various areas these two terms are used. It is especially used in chemistry to characterize the compounds. A mixture can be heterogeneous and homogeneous and consists of several pure substances that retain properties independently. In the first case they are distinguished with the naked eye and their components can be separated easily.
Heterogeneous mixtures in which it is necessary to use a microscope to distinguish its components are called colloids. In the second case, they are not distinguished with the naked eye. This type of mixture is also called dissolution. It differs from a pure substance since its components have different melting or boiling temperatures.
Examples of heterogeneous
A glass of water and oil is a heterogeneous compound since both components can be distinguished and can be separated by decantation.
Granite is another example of a heterogeneous mixture because its components can be seen with the naked eye: quartz, mica and feldspar (minerals with different properties). Its components can be separated using a tool like a hammer.