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In ordinary English, to scatter is to distribute randomly. Scatter also has the following meanings:

  • In physics, scattering is the study of collisions, especially of waves and particles (synonymous in quantum mechanics). In elastic scattering the objects are changed only in their motion, while in inelastic scattering the collision causes some change or produces a new object.
  • In statistics, scatter is a synonym for dispersion.
  • Scatter (modeling) or flock is a substance used in the building of dioramas and model railways to simulate the effect of grass, poppies, fireweed, track ballast and other scenic ground cover. Scatter actually refers to one of two substances: simulated track ballast, which is fine-grained ground granite; and coloured grass which is usually tinted sawdust, wood chips or ground foam.
  • In parallel computing a scatter operation sends data from one process to all other processes in a group. However, in contrast to broadcasting, the sending process can transmit different packages to each receiving process.
  • Scatter was the name of a chimpanzee owned by Elvis Presley.

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