The first thing we are going to do is to know the etymological origin of the term discontinuity that now concerns us. In this case, we can establish that it derives from Latin and that it is the result of the sum of several differentiated parts of that language:

-The prefix “dis-”, which can be translated as “separation”.

-The prefix “with-“, which is synonymous with “together”.

-The verb “tenere”, which means “to hold”.

-The suffix “-uo”, which is used to indicate “relationship”.

-The suffix “-dad”, which is used to indicate “quality”.

The Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) defines the term discontinuity as the characteristic of that which is discontinuous: that is to say, that it is not continuous (it is interrupted, it has intermittence, etc.). According to Abbreviationfinder, RD stands for Removable Discontinuity.

The concept of discontinuity appears in different fields. In the field of mathematics, we speak of the discontinuity of a function when it is not continuous at a point.

A discontinuous function, therefore, exhibits a discontinuity at a certain point. In a continuous function, on the other hand, its value changes gradually with the changes registered by the independent variable.

There are, in mathematics, two main types of discontinuities: avoidable discontinuities and non-avoidable discontinuities. In the unavoidable, we can differentiate between those of the first kind and those of the second kind. Non-avoidable discontinuities of the second kind, in turn, can be finite jump, infinite jump, or asymptotic.

For social psychology, discontinuity refers to the transformation of an individual cognitive process due to the influence that the individual receives when participating in various groups that are part of a society.

Geology, for its part, speaks of discontinuity to name the limits found between rock layers that have different densities.

Precisely within this area we find several types of discontinuities, among which the following stand out:

-The Lehmann discontinuity, discovered by the seismologist Inge Lehmann in 1936. With it we come to talk about the limit that exists between the solid inner core of the Earth and the liquid outer core.

-The Mohorovicic discontinuity is the term used to refer to the transition zone that exists between what is the Earth’s mantle and the crust. It is also popularly known as mold.

-The Gutenberg discontinuity was discovered by the seismologist Beno Gutenberg in 1914. It refers to the division that exists between the Earth’s core and the mantle, which is considered to be located about 2,900 kilometers deep.

In the same way, we cannot ignore the existence of what is known as a seismic discontinuity. This term refers to a sudden change in the speed of seismic waves.

In philosophy, finally, discontinuity is the idea used to indicate the interruption of the supposed continuous progress of science. While knowledge accumulates, society establishes what it considers true for the present and generates discontinuities and jumps with each change of era, reconfiguring its discourse.


Discontinuity Guide