V.] NORMAL VARIABILITY. 67
pitfalls, easily overlooked by the unwary, while they are cantering gaily along upon their arithmetic. The Laws of Error are beautiful in themselves and exceedingly fascinating to inquirers, owing to the thoroughness and simplicity with which they deal with masses of materials that appear at first sight to be entanglements on the largest scale, and of a hopelessly confused description. I will mention five of the laws.
(1) The following is a mechanical illustration of the first of them. In the apparatus already described, let q stand for the Prob: Error of any one of the shots that are dispersed among the compartments BB at its base.. Now cut the apparatus in two parts, horizontally through the rows of pins. Separate the parts and interpose a row of vertical compartments AA, as in Fig. 8, p. 63, where the bottom compartments, BB, corresponding to those shown in Fig. 7, are reduced to half their depth, in order to bring the whole figure within the same sized outline as before. The compartments BB are still deep enough for their purpose. It is clear that the interpolation of the AA compartments can have no ultimate effect on the final dispersion of the shot into those at BB. Now close the bottoms of all the AA compartments ; then the shot that falls from the funnel will be retained in them, and will be comparatively little dispersed. Let the Prob: Error of a shot in the AA compartments be called a. Next, open the bottom of any one of the AA compartments ; then the shot it contains will cascade downwards and disperse themselves among the BB compartments on either side of the perpendicu