Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/540

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

avidity, and the next trial shows the value of the discipline that has been undergone.

One remark more will close the view of the conditions of plasticity. It is, that discrimination and retentiveness have a common support in rapidity and sharpness of transition. A sharp and sudden change is commonly said to make a strong impression: the fact implied concerns discrimination and retention alike. Vague, shadowy, ill-defined boundaries fail to be discriminated, and the subjects of them are not remembered. The educator finds great scope for his art in this consideration also.

 

FORMATION OF RAINDROPS AND HAILSTONES.[1]

WHEN the particles of water or ice which constitute a cloud or fog are all of the same size, and the air in which they are sustained is at rest or is moving uniformly in one direction, then these particles can have no motion relatively to each other. The weight of the particles will cause them to descend through the air with velocities which depend on their diameters, and, since they are all of the same size, they will all move with the same velocity.

PSM V10 D540 Perfect hailstone.jpg
Fig. 1.—Perfect Hailstone.

Under these circumstances, therefore, the particles will not traverse the spaces which separate them, and there can be no aggregation so as to form raindrops or hailstones. If, however, from circumstances to be presently considered, some of the particles of the cloud or fog attain a larger size than others, these will descend faster than the others, and will consequently overtake those immediately beneath them; with these they may combine

  1. Abstract of paper "On the Manner in which Raindrops and Hailstones are formed," by Prof. Osborne Reynolds, M.A., read at the Literary and Philosophical Society, Manchester.