[Home]Wheeler Vortex

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First described by [Rosamund Wheeler]? in 1924, the Wheeler Vortex is a rotational attractor with a terminal component. That is, unlike a station loop such as Dollis Hill which may theoretically reach infinite helical stress, a Wheeler Vortex will pull until its helical stress reaches a threshold value and then it will push, usually violently. Indeed the word "explosion" is often applied to the vigorous push action of a Wheeler Vortex' collapse, although this is of course inaccurate because no explosives are involved.

Once a Wheeler Vortex has passed its terminal phase it will usually dissipate, although it is possible to create conditions for repeating, intermittent, and even static vortices whose terminal phases may be quite unpredictable.

Grossman has observed that there is a theoretical possibility of an inverse Wheeler Vortex, where the terminal phase happens first and then there is a gentle push away from the vortex site, but this seems unlikely to ever occur outside of reverse games.

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Edited December 15, 2004 1:27 am by Dunx (diff)