Before entering fully into the meaning of the term gradient, we are going to proceed to know its etymological origin. In this case, we can underline that it is a word that derives from Latin, exactly from “gradiens, gradientis”, which can be translated as “descending” or “taking steps”.
Also, it should be noted that it is a technicality that was created in the field of Physics.
It is also interesting to know that within the physical sector it is very common to speak of Laplacian, which is the divergence of the gradient.
The notion of gradient It is used in the field of physical to refer to the ratio between the change in the value of a magnitude at two points and the distance between them.
Based on this idea, the concept is used in multiple areas. The gradient can be the intensity difference of a Energy or a effect at two different times or points.
The concentration gradientIn this framework, it is the magnitude that reflects in what proportion and direction the most important change occurs in the concentration of a solute that is dissolved in a solution that is not homogeneous. It is, in other words, a difference of concentration.
If we focus on the membranes of the cells, the concentration gradient refers to the difference in the concentration of ions found in different places on the membrane in question.
The temperature gradient or thermal gradient, on the other hand, refers to the change of temperature per unit of distance. When a temperature gradient is recorded, there is a transfer of heat from the body that is warmer to the body that is colder.
There is also the pressure gradient or barometric gradient, which is produced by the difference of Pressure that registers in a fluid. The usual thing is that it makes mention of the change in pressure per unit of depth.
In the same way, it should also be emphasized that the term in question is widely used within the sphere of mathematics. In this case, it is used as a synonym for a vector type value function, which is therefore a scalar function.
In this field it is also known by the name of gradient vector and it has characteristics such as that it becomes annular in what are the stationary type points and that it becomes of an orthogonal class with respect to the so-called surfaces equiscalar. Also, we must add the fact that it points towards the direction in which the directional derivative is maximum.
It is interesting to know that in order to make the calculation of gradients and partial derivatives as easy as possible, there are online calculators that allow these operations to be carried out quickly and with total accuracy.
Finally, a gradient is a pending or a slope. It can be a slope that is generated by a certain degree of inclination. In this case, the gradient usually reflects the relationship between horizontal distance and vertical distance.