Vor"tex (?), n.; pl. E.
Vortexes (#), L. Vortices (#). [L.
vortex, vertex, -icis, fr. vortere,
vertere, to turn. See Vertex.]
1. A mass of fluid, especially of a liquid, having
a whirling or circular motion tending to form a cavity or vacuum in the
center of the circle, and to draw in towards the center bodies subject to
its action; the form assumed by a fluid in such motion; a whirlpool; an
2. (Cartesian System) A supposed collection
of particles of very subtile matter, endowed with a rapid rotary motion
around an axis which was also the axis of a sun or a planet. Descartes
attempted to account for the formation of the universe, and the movements
of the bodies composing it, by a theory of vortices.
3. (Zoöl.) Any one of numerous species
of small Turbellaria belonging to Vortex and allied genera. See
Illustration in Appendix.
Vortex atom (Chem.), a hypothetical ring-
shaped mass of elementary matter in continuous vortical motion. It is
conveniently regarded in certain mathematical speculations as the typical
form and structure of the chemical atom. -- Vortex
wheel, a kind of turbine.