Definition - What does Isotropic mean?

Isotropic is a property of a physical object that enables it to have the same value when observed or measured from different directions. An isotropic solid has properties which do not depend on the orientation of the solid. Isotropic properties describe certain situations where properties vary systematically. Anisotropic is the opposite of Isotropic. An anisotropic object has different values when measured or observed in all directions.

Petropedia explains Isotropic

A Surface topography can either be isotropic or anisotropic. In an isotropic formation, the properties of a rock remain constant or unchanged when it is examined from various directions, angles or depths. However, isotropic nature of sedimentary rocks is usually rare. In such cases, when the rocks are observed and studied to determine whether they contain hydrocarbons or not, their crystalline grain structure is observed. If its physical and mechanical properties do not differ in orientation, it has isotropic properties, however, if it differs in orientation, it is said to have anisotropic properties. This can be seen when looking at a model of the crystalline structure where atoms slip over one another or distort in relation to one another more in some directions than in others. When there is a variation in the properties of the material having different crystallographic orientations, the material is said to be in an anisotropic state, else it is said to be in isotropic state.

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