Synthetic jet actuator, which can be micromachined if desired, generates a synthetic jet stream characterized by a series of successive vortices that can be used for effectively entraining adjacent fluid. The synthetic jet actuator can be used to bend, or vector, a jet stream from another jet actuator. Further, because the synthetic jet actuator exhibits zero net mass flux, the synthetic jet actuator can be used within a bounded volume. In structure, the synthetic jet actuator comprises a housing defining an internal chamber and having an orifice. A flexible metallized diaphragm forms a wall of the housing and can change the volume of the chamber when moved. An electrode is disposed adjacent to and spaced from the diaphragm, and an electrical bias is imposed between the metallized diaphragm and the electrode by a control system to force movement of the diaphragm. As the diaphragm moves, the volume in the internal chamber changes and vortices are ejected from the chamber through the orifice.