Difference Between Isotropic and Anisotropic

Main Difference

The main difference between isotropic and anisotropic is that the isotropic is that the physical and chemical properties of the compound mainly not depend on the direction and dimensions, whereas the anisotropic is that the chemical and physical properties of the compounds mainly rest on the directions and dimensions.

Isotropic vs. Anisotropic

Isotropic compounds are direction independent, whereas the anisotropic compounds are direction-dependent. Isotropic properties are known for their constant and invariable values; on the other hand; anisotropic properties are variable. Isotropic compounds have only one type of refractive index; on the flip side, anisotropic compounds have more than one type of refractive index.

The characteristics like optical activity, dispersion, birefringence, and dichroism are absent in isotropic compounds while the characteristics like optical activity, dispersion, birefringence, dichroism are present in the anisotropic compounds. Isotropic compounds have consistent chemical bonding in chemical reactions; on the other hand, anisotropic compounds have inconsistent chemical bonding in chemical reactions.

Isotropic compounds usually have a dark appearance in nature, whereas the anisotropic compounds usually have a bright appearance in nature. The isotropic compound does not have its ability to pass the sunlight through itself; on the flip side, the anisotropic compound has its ability to pass through the sunlight through itself.

The ability of conduction of electricity in isotropic compounds is the same in all directions; on the other hand, the ability of the conduction of electric current in anisotropic compounds is different in different directions. The speed of light in isotropic compounds is the same in all directions; on the flip side, the speed of light in anisotropic compounds is different in different directions.

The applications of isotropic compounds lie in lenses while the applications of anisotropic compounds lie in optical polarizers. The process of double refraction is absent in the isotropic compounds, whereas the process of refraction is present in the anisotropic compounds. The example of an isotropic substance is glass; on the flip side, the example of anisotropic compounds is wood.

The chemical, physical, and mechanical properties of isotropic compounds do not depend on the orientation of the crystals; on the other hand, the mechanical, chemical, and physical properties of anisotropic compounds depend on the orientation of the crystals. The radiations of the isotropic crystals have the same intensity in all the directions; on the flip side, the radiations of the anisotropic crystals do not have the same intensity in all the directions.

The term “iso” means equal; on the contrary, the term “Aniso” means unequal. Isotopic compounds have the cubic symmetry, whereas the anisotropic compounds do not have the cubic symmetry. Isotropic materials include in amorphous substances like glasses, etc.; on the other hand, the anisotropic materials include in composite materials such as wood, etc.

Comparison Chart

IsotropicAnisotropic
The isotropic crystals have invariable properties.The anisotropic crystals have variable properties.
Properties
Its properties are direction independentIts properties are direction-dependent
Refractive Index
It has an only refractive indexIt has more than one refractive index
Characteristics
No special characteristicsOptical activity, dichroism, dispersion, birefringence
Applications
Lasers and windowsWedges, polarizers, and waveplates
Chemical Bonding
ConsistentInconsistent
Appearance
Dark in natureBright in nature
Sunlight
No sunlight passes through itSunlight passes through it
Velocity of Light
Same in all directionsDifferent in different directions
Uses
LensesPolarizers
Double Refraction
This process is not common in isotropicThis process is common in anisotropic
Symmetry
CubicNot cubic
Conduction of Electricity
Same in all directionsDifferent in different directions
Composition
Amorphous materialsComposite materials
Radiation Intensity
Same in all directionsNot the same in all directions but different in different directions
Examples
GlassWood

What is Isotropic?

The word isotropic means the same that refers to the physical, mechanical, and chemical properties that are same in all directions. The properties of isotropic are not direction-dependent. They are same in all ways and are constant. The composition of the isotopic crystals includes amorphous materials. The chemical bonding in isotropic usually refers to consistent behavior.

The cell walls of the plants always considered as the isotropic material whose different properties and characteristics are the same in all the directions. The cubic crystals usually include in the isotropic substances such as sodium salts and rock salts also are known for its invariable properties. The hardness or the solidity of the cubic crystals remain same whether the direction or the conditions of the solids are.

The optical properties are usually not present in the isotropic crystals as it is the property that depends on the directions of the atomic arrangements. The examples of isotropic are Glasses, Lead cables, Rock salt, Sodium salt, etc

Characteristics

  • Properties are direction-dependent.
  • Isotropic crystals have cubic symmetry.
  • The conduction of electricity is the same in all directions.
  • The force of radiation is not different in all directions.
  • Double refraction is not common in isotropic crystals.
  • It has no optical activity.
  • It has no dispersion effect.
  • It has no dichroism effect.
  • It has a dark presence in the landscape.
  • The velocity of sunlight is the same in every orientation.
  • Sunlight cannot pass through it.
  • The composition of isotropic is amorphous

Applications

  • Use in lasers
  • Use in windows
  • Used as a reference for antenna
  • Used in the isotopic radiators

What is Anisotropic?

The term anisotropic means not the same refers to the chemical, physical, and mechanical properties that varying with the change in position, place, and the orientation. It means all the properties of the anisotropic crystals are mainly the orientation-dependent. They are variable in different directions. The composition of the anisotropic crystals mainly includes composite materials.

The inner cytoplasm of the living cells of the organisms is mainly anisotropic who’s all the chemical, mechanical, and physical properties are continuously changing with the change in direction and dimensions because of the presence of the inter-cellular organelles in the cytoplasm. The examples of anisotropic are Wood, Cubic crystals, Gypsum, etc

Characteristics

  • Properties are direction independent.
  • Isotropic crystals do not have cubic symmetry.
  • The conduction of electricity is not the same in all directions.
  • The radiation force is not the same in all orientations.
  • Double refraction is common in isotropic crystals.
  • It has more than one refractive index.
  • It has optical activity.
  • It has a dispersion effect.
  • It has a dichroism effect.
  • It has a bright appearance in nature.
  • The velocity of light is different in all dimensions.
  • Sunlight can pass through it.
  • The composition of isotropic is of composite materials

Applications

  • Use for polarizers,
  • Use for optical waveplates,
  • Use for wedges,
  • Used in magnetic materials,
  • Used in electronic materials, etc.

Key Differences

  1. Isotropic substances depend upon the direction of the materials; on the other hand, anisotropic substances depend upon the direction of the materials.
  2. The term “iso” means equal; on the contrary, the term “Aniso” means unequal.
  3. Isotropic properties are usually invariable; on the flip side, anisotropic properties are variable.
  4. The optical, magnetic, and electronic like characteristics are absent in the isotropic substances; on the other hand, the other hand, the optical, magnetic, and electronic properties are present in the anisotropic properties.
  5. Isotropic substances have only one value of the refractive index; on the other hand, anisotropic substances have more than one value of the refractive substances.
  6. Isotropic substances are dark; on the flip side, anisotropic substances are bright.
  7. Isotropic substances cannot pass the sunlight; on the other hand, anisotropic substances can pass the sunlight.
  8. Cubic symmetry is present in the isotropic substances; on the contrary, no cubic symmetry in the anisotropic substances.
  9. The conduction of the electricity is independent of the direction of the materials; on the contrary, the conduction of the electricity is dependent on the direction.
  10. There is a strong chemical bond in the formula of the isotropic substances; on the other hand, there is a weak chemical bond in the formula of the anisotropic substances.
  11. The speed of light in isotropic compounds is the same in all directions; on the flip side, the speed of light in anisotropic compounds is different in different directions.
  12. The chemical, physical, and mechanical properties of isotropic compounds do not depend on the orientation of the crystals; on the other hand, the mechanical, chemical, and physical properties of anisotropic compounds depend on the orientation of the crystals.
  13. The radiation intensity is the same in all directions; on the opposite, thee radiation intensity is direction-dependent.
  14. Isotropic substances lack the double refraction phenomenon while the anisotropic substances have a double refraction phenomenon.
  15. Isotropic materials include in amorphous substances like glasses, etc.; on the other hand, the anisotropic materials include in composite materials such as wood, etc.
  16. Lenses are the best application of the isotropic substances while the optical polarizers are the best application of the anisotropic substances.

Conclusion

The above discussion concludes that both the isotropic and anisotropic are the main types of crystalline solids. The isotropic crystals have the properties of orientation independent, whereas the anisotropic crystals have the properties of orientation-dependent.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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