flux

Definitions

General English

General Science

  • noun the rate at which heat, energy or radiation flows
  • noun a substance applied to the surface of metals when soldering them together
  • noun a substance used in ore smelting to aid the removal of impurities

Cars & Driving

  • noun a chemical used in soldering and welding to prevent oxidizing

Construction

  • A substance that facilitates the fusion of metals and helps prevent surface oxidation during welding, brazing, and soldering.
  • A liquefied bituminous substance used to soften other bituminous materials.

Electronics

  • For a given region, a measure of the strength of a field. For example, that of electric and/or magnetic fields. Flux is usually represented by lines of force.
  • For a given region, the magnetic lines of force. The closer together the lines, the greater the strength of the magnetic field. Also called magnetic flux (2).
  • For a given region, the electric lines of force. The closer together the lines, the greater the strength of the electric field. Also called electric flux (2).
  • The rate of flow of a given quantity across a given area. In the case of light, for instance, the number of photons striking a given surface area perpendicular to its path, per unit time.
  • A material which better prepares surfaces for brazing, soldering, or welding. It may do so, for instance, by removing oxides. Also called solder flux.

Medical

  • noun an excessive production of liquid from the body

Origin & History of “flux”

Flux denotes generally ‘flowing’, and comes from Latin fluxus, a derivative of the past participle of fluere ‘flow’. this verb, similar in form and meaning to English flow but in fact unrelated to it, is responsible for a very wide range of English words: its past participle has given us fluctuate (17th c.), its present participle fluent (16th c.) and a spectrum of derived forms, such as affluent, effluent (18th c.), and influence, and other descendants include fluid (15th c.) (literally ‘flowing’, from Latin fluidus), mellifluous (literally ‘flowing with honey’), superfluous (15th c.), and fluvial (14th c.) (from Latin fluvius ‘river’, a derivative of fluere). Latin fluxus also produced the card-playing term flush (16th c.).
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