ce of a sea without any inertia, then we can readily understand that the water composing such a sea would offer no resistance to being pushed astern by paddle or screw. When a gun is fired, the weapon moves in one direction--this is called its recoil--while the shot moves in another direction. The same principal--pace Professor Greenhill--operates to cause the movement of a ship. The water is driven in one direction, the ship in another. Now, Professor Rankine has laid down the proposition that, other things being equal, that propeller must be most efficient which sends the largest quantity of water astern at the slowest speed. This is a very important proposition, and it should be fully grasped and understood in all its bearings. The reason why of it is very simple. Returning for a moment to our gun, we see that a certain amount of work is done on it in causing it to recoil; but the whole of the work done by the powder is, other things being equal, a constant quantity. The sum of the work done on th
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