# Manifold vs. Collector: What's the Difference?

By Janet White || Updated on October 6, 2023
"Manifold" usually refers to a pipe or chamber branching into several openings, while "Collector" generally denotes a person or thing that collects, or a large pipe that multiple smaller pipes feed into. They can both refer to items in fluid dynamics, but

## Key Differences

"Manifold" and "Collector" are terms that, while they can operate in similar realms, particularly within the domains of fluid dynamics and mechanics, bear different meanings and functions. A "Manifold" typically refers to a component that has multiple inputs or outputs, serving to either distribute fluid or gas to various channels or combine flows from various channels. In contrast, a "Collector" can be a broader term, referring to an entity, whether a person or a mechanism, which amasses or accumulates items, substances, or even data; in fluid dynamics, it usually denotes a large main pipe receiving flow from smaller ones.
Within engineering and mechanics, a "Manifold" is often used to describe a system of pipes or channels, which may serve to either divide or combine flows of fluid, air, or gas. For example, in automotive engineering, an intake manifold distributes air to the cylinders, while in hydraulics, a hydraulic manifold directs fluid flow within a hydraulic system. A "Collector," when used in a similar context, generally refers to a receptacle or main pipe that accumulates flow or contents from smaller conduits, serving to consolidate rather than distribute, as seen in waste water management where a collector receives waste water from various sources.
Analyzing the term "Manifold" further, it also has applications in mathematics, where it describes a topological space that locally resembles Euclidean space, demonstrating the term’s versatility in usage beyond fluid dynamics and mechanics. Meanwhile, a "Collector," in the realm of hobbies and human behavior, refers to an individual who gathers objects of a similar kind, displaying a diversity in application akin to "Manifold" but diverging in context and connotation, representing accumulation rather than distribution or combination.
The words "Manifold" and "Collector" can, at times, intertwine, particularly when discussing fluid dynamics or mechanics, but they maintain distinctive differences. "Manifold" tends to lean towards the aspect of diversion or convergence in channels or spaces, whether fluid, gas, or mathematical, while "Collector" embraces the aspect of gathering or accumulating, whether it is materials, fluids, or objects in a collection, displaying differences in structure, function, and connotation across their varying applications.

## Comparison Chart

### Function

Distributes or combines flows or elements.
Gathers or accumulates items or substances.

### Structure

System of pipes or channels.
Large main pipe or a person gathering objects.

### Usage in Context

Engineering, fluid dynamics, and mathematics.
Fluid dynamics, waste management, and hobbies.

### Representation

Represents diversion or convergence.
Represents accumulation.

### Connotation

Distribution or combination.
Gathering or amassing.

## Manifold and Collector Definitions

#### Manifold

A pipe or chamber with multiple openings for directing flow.
The intake manifold directs the air to the engine’s cylinders.

#### Collector

A receptacle or device for accumulating substances or objects.
The dust collector needs to be emptied regularly.

#### Manifold

Multifarious or having many different forms, features, or elements.
The manifold consequences of the decision were unforeseen.

#### Collector

A person responsible for collecting payments or debts.
The tax collector visited the local businesses.

#### Manifold

In mathematics, a topological space resembling Euclidean space locally.
A torus is an example of a two-dimensional manifold.

#### Collector

An individual who gathers or acquires items of a similar kind.
John is an avid stamp collector.

#### Manifold

Serving to connect multiple parts into one system.
The manifold combined the various pipes into one main channel.

#### Collector

In fluid dynamics, a main pipe receiving flow from smaller ones.
The collector receives wastewater from multiple pipes.

#### Manifold

Varied or diverse in appearance or function.
The book covers manifold aspects of ancient civilizations.

#### Collector

One that collects
A dust collector.

#### Manifold

Many and varied; of many kinds; multiple
Our manifold failings.

#### Collector

A person employed to collect taxes, duties, or other payments.

#### Manifold

Having many features or forms
Manifold intelligence.

#### Collector

A person who makes a collection, as of stamps.

#### Manifold

Being such for a variety of reasons
A manifold traitor.

#### Collector

An electrode collector.

#### Manifold

Consisting of or operating several devices of one kind at the same time.

#### Collector

A solar collector.

#### Manifold

A whole composed of diverse elements.

#### Collector

A person who or thing that collects, or which creates or manages a collection.
He is an avid collector of nineteenth-century postage stamps.
That old piano is just a big dust collector.

#### Manifold

One of several copies.

#### Collector

A person who is employed to collect payments.
She works for the government as a tax collector.

#### Manifold

A pipe or chamber having multiple apertures for making connections.

#### Collector

A mafioso whose task is to collect protection money from small businesses

#### Manifold

(Mathematics) A topological space in which each point has a neighborhood that is equivalent to a neighborhood in Euclidean space. The surface of a sphere is a two-dimensional manifold because the neighborhood of each point is equivalent to a part of the plane.

#### Collector

(electronics) The amplified terminal on a bipolar junction transistor.

#### Manifold

To make several copies of, as with carbon paper.

#### Collector

A compiler of books; one who collects scattered passages and puts them together in one book.

#### Manifold

To make manifold; multiply.

#### Collector

(historical) One holding a Bachelor of Arts in Oxford, formerly appointed to superintend some scholastic proceedings in Lent.

#### Manifold

Various in kind or quality; diverse.
The manifold meanings of the simple English word set are infamous among dictionary makers.

#### Collector

A major sewer which collects sewerage from a number of smaller branch sewers

#### Manifold

Many in number, numerous; multiple, multiplied.

#### Collector

One who collects things which are separate; esp., one who makes a business or practice of collecting works of art, objects in natural history, etc.; as, a collector of coins.
I digress into Soho to explore a bookstall. Methinks I have been thirty years a collector.

Complicated.

#### Collector

A compiler of books; one who collects scattered passages and puts them together in one book.
Volumes without the collector's own reflections.

#### Manifold

Exhibited at diverse times or in various ways.

#### Collector

An officer appointed and commissioned to collect and receive customs, duties, taxes, or toll.
A great part of this is now embezzled . . . by collectors, and other officers.

#### Manifold

Many times; repeatedly.

#### Collector

One authorized to collect debts.

#### Manifold

(historical) A copy made by the manifold writing process.

#### Collector

A bachelor of arts in Oxford, formerly appointed to superintend some scholastic proceedings in Lent.

#### Manifold

(mechanics) A pipe fitting or similar device that connects multiple inputs or outputs.

#### Collector

A person who collects things

#### Manifold

The third stomach of a ruminant animal, an omasum.

#### Collector

A person who is employed to collect payments (as for rent or taxes)

#### Manifold

(mathematics) A topological space that looks locally like the "ordinary" Euclidean space $\mathbb\left\{R\right\}^n$ and is Hausdorff.

#### Collector

A crater that has collected cosmic material hitting the earth

#### Manifold

(computer graphics) A polygon mesh representing the continuous, closed surface of a solid object

#### Collector

The electrode in a transistor through which a primary flow of carriers leaves the region between the electrodes

#### Manifold

(transitive) To make manifold; multiply.

#### Collector

A device or component in solar panels gathering solar energy.
The solar collector is optimized to capture maximum sunlight.

#### Manifold

To multiply or reproduce impressions of by a single operation.

#### Manifold

Various in kind or quality; many in number; numerous; multiplied; complicated.
O Lord, how manifold are thy works!
I know your manifold transgressions.

#### Manifold

Exhibited at divers times or in various ways; - used to qualify nouns in the singular number.

#### Manifold

A copy of a writing made by the manifold process.

#### Manifold

A cylindrical pipe fitting, having a number of lateral outlets, for connecting one pipe with several others; as, the exhaust manifold of an automobile engine.

#### Manifold

The third stomach of a ruminant animal.

#### Manifold

To take copies of by the process of manifold writing; as, to manifold a letter.

#### Manifold

A pipe that has several lateral outlets to or from other pipes

#### Manifold

A lightweight paper used with carbon paper to make multiple copies;
An original and two manifolds

#### Manifold

A set of points such as those of a closed surface or and analogue in three or more dimensions

#### Manifold

Make multiple copies of;
Multiply a letter

#### Manifold

Combine or increase by multiplication;
He managed to multiply his profits

#### Manifold

Many and varied; having many features or forms;
Manifold reasons
Our manifold failings
Manifold intelligence
The multiplex opportunities in high technology

## FAQs

#### Can manifold refer to multiple varieties?

Yes, "manifold" can refer to having many different forms, features, or elements.

#### What is a manifold in engineering?

A manifold in engineering is a component with multiple openings, used to direct flow of fluid or gas.

#### What does a collector do in waste management?

In waste management, a collector is a main pipe that receives waste water from various smaller pipes.

#### Can a collector refer to a component in solar panels?

Yes, a collector can refer to a component in solar panels that gathers solar energy.

#### Does a collector only relate to fluid dynamics?

No, a collector has applications beyond fluid dynamics, such as in hobbies or solar energy.

#### Does a manifold always combine flows?

No, a manifold can either combine or distribute flows depending on its design and application.

#### Is the term manifold specific to any field?

"Manifold" is versatile and is used in various fields like engineering, mathematics, and fluid dynamics.

#### Can a person be a collector?

Yes, a person gathering or acquiring items of a similar kind is a collector.

#### Can a collector be a device?

Absolutely, a collector can be a device that accumulates substances or objects.

#### Is a manifold used in mathematics?

Yes, in mathematics, a manifold is a topological space that locally resembles Euclidean space.

#### Can manifold mean diverse?

Indeed, "manifold" can also mean varied or diverse in appearance or function.

#### Can manifold and collector be used interchangeably?

While both can operate in similar realms like fluid dynamics, they have distinctive meanings and functions and are not generally interchangeable.

#### Can a collector be involved in financial activities?

Yes, a collector can be a person responsible for collecting payments or debts.

#### Is a manifold a component in vehicles?

Yes, vehicles often have intake and exhaust manifolds for directing air and exhaust gases.

#### Is a collector always a tangible object?

No, a collector can be intangible, such as a person collecting debts or payments.