- (ANATOMY) A connecting band
of tissue (plural vincula). The vincula tendinum are
thread-like bands of synovial membrane that connect the flexor tendons
of the fingers and toes to their point of insertion on the phalanges.
- (MATH) The bar that is placed
over repeating decimal fractions to indicate the portion of the patterns
that repeats. The Latin noun vinculum refers to a small cord
for binding the hands or feet; likewise, the verb vincire means
"to bind". The symbol was once used in the same way that parentheses
and brackets are now used to bind together a group of numbers or symbols.
Originally the line was placed under the items to be grouped. What today
might be written 7(3x + 4) the early users of the vinculum
would write 3x + 4 7. Sometimes the horizontal fraction
bar is called a vinculum as it binds the numerator and denominator into
a single value.
(SF) In the Star
Trek universe, a Borg device that interconnects the minds of drones,
purges individual thoughts, and disseminates information relevant to
the Collective. The term is employed (by the scriptwriters) with reference
to the same Latin root as its factual mathematical counterpart, i.e.
the Borg vinculum "binds together" the individual components
of the hive mind (see hive intelligence).
In essence, the vinuculum's function is like that of the Borg Queen,
but on a ship-wide basis as distinct from the entire collective. In
cases of extreme emergency when a connection to the collective has been
lost, the vinculum is capable of setting up a temporary collective mind
for the ship and its crew. In this way, the affected drones are still
able to operate in a unified manner even though they are separated from
the rest of the Borg Collective.
The vinculum is introduced in the Star Trek Voyager episode "Infinite
Regress" (series 5, episode 7). In the year 2375, the starship
Voyager encounters a Borg debris field in the midst of which is a still-functioning
vinculum – the processing device at the core of every Borg vessel
which, as the Bog put it, "brings order to chaos". Tapping into Seven
of Nine's cortical implant, it attempts to re-integrate her with the
Collective, resulting in a severe case of multiple personality syndrome
for Voyager's ex-drone eye-candy.
OF STAR TREK