When we pass from the consideration of discrete particles to that of continuous distributions of matter, we require some physical postulate over and above what is contained in the Laws of Motion, in their original formulation.
If material systems are constituted of discrete atoms, separated from each other by many times the diameter of any of them, this simple plan of exhibiting their interactions in terms of direct forces between them would indeed be exact enough to apply to a wide range of questions, provided we could be certain that the laws of the forces depended only on the positions and not also on the motions of the atoms. The most important example of its successful application has been the theory of capillary action elaborated by P. S.
For most purposes the solid media are to be preferred, since bacterial growth appears as a discrete mass and accidental contamination can be readily recognized.
The identical relation between the ideas of space and time and the impressions corresponding to them apparently leads him to regard judgments of continuous and discrete quantity as standing on the same footing, while the ideal character of the data gives a certain colour to his inexact statements regarding the extent and truth of the judgments founded on them.
If the aether were itself constituted of discrete molecules, on the model of material bodies, such transparency would not be conceivable.
Kinetics of a system of discrete particles.
I strolled a discrete distance from her side as we entered the gardens.
This manner of conceiving is absolutely general and distinct, and accordingly affords the possibility of an all-comprehensive and perfect science, the science of discrete quantity.
It has now become apparent that the traditional field of mathematics in the province of discrete and continuous number can only be separated from the general abstract theory of classes and relations by a wavering and indeterminate line.
Each neuron or nerve cell is a morphologically distinct and discrete unit connected functionally but not structurally with its neighbours, and leading its own life independently of the destiny of its neighbours.