The dependency of capillarity upon abruptness of transition.
The terrace closest to the land, known as the continental shelf, has an average depth of 600 ft., and connects Australia, New Guinea, and Tasmania in one unbroken sweep. Compared with other continents, the Australian continental shelf is extremely narrow, and there are points on the eastern coast where the land plunges down to oceanic depths with an abruptness rarely paralleled.
With increase of speeds this matter has become important as an element of comfort in passenger traffic. As a first approximation, the centre-line of a railway may be plotted out as a number of portions of circles, with intervening straight tangents connecting them, when the abruptness of the changes of direction will depend on the radii of the circular portions.
But if the change from straight to circular is made through the medium of a suitable curve it is possible to relieve the abruptness, even on curves of comparatively small radius.
Every critic could recognize the structural merits of the earlier plays, for their operatic conventionalities and abruptness of motive are always intelligible as stage devices.