Science: Shortcut to GM

The art of loading a ship so as to get the best stability possible is no longer something that depends on the feel and the rule-of-thumb calculations of the officer in charge of stowage. But all the guess has been taken out of it by a simple gadget which has been installed on a number of U.S. ships.

A ship's stability is measured by her GM—the height of her metacenter* (M) above her center of gravity (G); this distance determines a ship's ability to right itself after heeling over before waves, wind, or torpedoes.

The new device for calculating foolproof GM is...