attractor

[uh-trak-ter]
noun
1.
a person or thing that attracts.
2.
Physics. a state or behavior toward which a dynamic system tends to evolve, represented as a point or orbit in the system's phase space.

Origin:
1645–55

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To attractor
Collins
World English Dictionary
attract (əˈtrækt)
 
vb
1.  to draw (notice, a crowd of observers, etc) to oneself by conspicuous behaviour or appearance (esp in the phrase attract attention)
2.  (also intr) to exert a force on (a body) that tends to cause an approach or oppose a separation: the gravitational pull of the earth attracts objects to it
3.  to possess some property that pulls or draws (something) towards itself: jam attracts wasps
4.  (also intr) to exert a pleasing, alluring, or fascinating influence (upon); be attractive (to)
 
[C15: from Latin attrahere to draw towards, from trahere to pull]
 
at'tractable
 
adj
 
at'tractor
 
n
 
at'tracter
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Science Dictionary
attractor   (ə-trāk'tər)  Pronunciation Key 
A set of states of a dynamic physical system toward which that system tends to evolve, regardless of the starting conditions of the system. ◇ A point attractor is an attractor consisting of a single state. For example, a marble rolling in a smooth, rounded bowl will always come to rest at the lowest point, in the bottom center of the bowl; the final state of position and motionlessness is a point attractor. ◇ A periodic attractor is an attractor consisting of a finite or infinite set of states, where the evolution of the system results in moving cyclically through each state. The ideal orbit of a planet around a star is a periodic attractor, as are periodic oscillations. A periodic attractor is also called a limit-cycle. ◇ A strange attractor is an attractor for which the evolution through the set of possible physical states is nonperiodic (chaotic), resulting in an evolution through a set of states defining a fractal set. Most real physical systems (including the actual orbits of planets) involve strange attractors.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
In the long run, an educated workforce is an attractor.
In this case, you would get different redshifts looking towards and away from this attractor.
Find some good fishing holes with this interactive, statewide map of fish-attractor locations.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature