Browse Definitions:
Definition

continuum

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

A continuum is a continuous system or range in which adjacent elements do not vary from each other in any marked degree although the endpoints of the system may be drastically different.

Any continuous whole comprising individual units can be considered a continuum, although a progression of some sort is often considered part of the definition.  The set of real numbers (R) is sometimes called the continuum because it is intuitive to think of its elements as corresponding one-to-one with the points on a geometric line. 

Examples of continuums:

Sequences of real numbers, ranges of temperatures and the notes of a musical scale are a few common real-world examples of continuums.

The space-time continuum, first described in Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, is the enmeshed combination of our three perceived physical dimensions, plus time. Time itself is sometimes referred to as a “free-flowing continuum.” Similarly, 3-D space can be considered an unbounded continuum in which exactly three numerical coordinates are necessary to uniquely define the location of any particular point.

Structuredunstructured and semi-structured data are sometimes referred to as the data continuum, with unstructured data being the least formatted and structured data being the most formatted.

See a PBS video explaining the combination of space and time into a single continuum:

This was last updated in February 2016

Continue Reading About continuum

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

  • audit program (audit plan)

    An audit program, also called an audit plan, is an action plan that documents what procedures an auditor will follow to validate ...

SearchSecurity

  • computer worm

    A computer worm is a type of malicious software program whose primary function is to infect other computers while remaining ...

  • black hat

    Black hat refers to a hacker who breaks into a computer system or network with malicious intent.

  • copyright

    Copyright is a legal term describing ownership of control of the rights to the use and distribution of certain works of creative ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • RRAM or ReRAM (resistive RAM)

    RRAM or ReRAM (resistive random access memory) is a form of nonvolatile storage that operates by changing the resistance of a ...

  • JEDEC

    JEDEC is a global industry group that develops open standards for microelectronics.

  • M.2 SSD

    An M.2 SSD is a solid-state drive (SSD) that conforms to a computer industry specification written for internally mounted storage...

SearchCloudStorage

  • Google Cloud Storage

    Google Cloud Storage is an enterprise public cloud storage platform that can house large unstructured data sets.

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

Close