55. A Vessel, out of which Water flows as it is poured in, but if the
supply is withheld, Water will not flow again, until the Vessel is half
filled; and on the supply being again stopped, it will not then flow
until the Vessel is filled.
THERE are some vessels which, when water is poured in, flow immediately, but, if we discontinue pouring for a short space, do not flow again, though water is poured in afresh, till they are half full, when they begin to flow once more; and if we discontinue again, do not flow any more till they are quite full. Let A B (fig. 55), be a vessel containing, concealed in its interior, three siphons, C, D, E, one leg of each being near the bottom of the vessel, while the other, fashioned into a water-spout, conducts outside the vessel. At the outer extremities of the siphons, apply vessels, F, 0, H, the bottoms of which are far enough from the orifices of the siphons to admit the passage of water between; and let all this be encompassed by another vessel, as it were a pedestal, K L M N, which is provided with a spout at X. Let the bend of the siphon C be close to the bottom of the vessel A B; that of D, half way up its height, and that of E, near the neck. Now, if we pour water into the vessel A B, it will immediately flow through the siphon C since its bend is near the bottom: but, if we cease pouring, the liquid poured in will be drawn off through the pipe F, and the vessel F will be found full of water, while the other part of the siphon C will be full of air. Consequently, when liquid is again poured into the vessel, it will not pass through the siphon C, owing to the air which is contained in the siphon between the water which is being poured in and that in the vessel F. The liquid will therefore rise as high as the bend of the siphon D, which is at the middle of the vessel, and then it will begin to flow: but, if we again cease pouring, the same will happen as has been explained in the case of the siphon C. A like result must be imagined with the siphon E. It will be necessary to pour in the stream gently, that the air intercepted in the siphon may not be forcibly driven out.