A “sphere” in the general sense is a delimitable area that surrounds a core in the form of a concentric shell.
In scientific terminology, the term “sphere” is used to summarize similar and related phenomena at a high level of abstraction in the sense of a higher level classification of phenomena with global dimensions.
The term “sphere” goes back to the time of antiquity, when the idea of a sky vault surrounding the earth in the form of a concentric hollow sphere prevailed. Since then, worldwide phenomena have been referred to in scientific jargon as spheres alluding to the concept of concentric shells. Examples are the geosphere, the lithosphere, the hydrosphere, the cryosphere, the atmosphere and the biosphere.
In recent times, the concept of the “sphere” has again found widespread use in another context: the concept of the “infosphere” is of central importance in approaches to describing the information age. In the “Digital Era Framework”, the “infosphere” is further differentiated into an “analog infosphere” and a “digital infosphere” and both separated from the “entisphere” and the “cognisphere”.
Ethymology: The German word “sphere”[ˈsfɛːrə] can be traced back via the Latin word “sphaera” to the ancient Greek σφαῖρα “sphaira”, which has the meaning of “shell”, “ball” or “sphere”. The meaning of the “sphere” as a celestial sphere originates from the age of antiquity, in which the idea of a celestial vault surrounding the earth in the form of a concentric hollow sphere prevailed. The word is also used in the meaning of a globe surrounding concentric shell.
Examples are the geosphere, the lithosphere, the hydrosphere, the cryosphere, the atmosphere and the biosphere.