Capillary Action

Capillary Action (Lat. capillus, a hair), a manifestation of the force of adhesion shown by the movement of a fluid uppn a solid surface placed partly within the fluid. It is called capillary because it is most striking on the inside of very small (capillary or hair-like) tubes. If the solid can be wet by the fluid, the fluid will rise in the tube, or on any surface, as water on glass or wood. If the solid cannot be wet by the fluid, the fluid will be depressed in the tube, as quicksilver is depressed in a glass tube. Capillary action has been investigated with great care, both by experiment and calculation, but its interest is chiefly theoretical, its practical uses and laws being obvious. - See Laplace's Mecanique celeste, vol. iii.


Capitanata, province of Italy. See Foggia.

Capitoline Games

Capitoline Games (ludi Capitolini), annual games instituted on the suggestion of Camillus, 387 B. C, in honor of Jupiter Capitolinus, and in commemoration of the preservation of the Capitol from the Gauls. One of the amusements at these games was to offer the Sardiani for sale by auction. These Sardiani are by some supposed to have been Sardinians, and by others Veiians. The games fell into disuse, and were revived by Nero, who modelled them after the Olympic games, and endeavored to introduce a new method of computation of time, reckoned, like the Olympiads of Hellenic chronology, from the quinquennial celebration of the ludi Capitolini.


Capiz, a town of the Philippine islands, capital of a province of the same name in the island of Panay, situated in a plain near the sea, and surrounded by three rivers, the Panay, Panitan, and Ivisan; pop. 12,000. Some of the houses are constructed of stone, others of nipa palm. The town is defended by a small fort and garrison; it is sometimes inundated in the rainy season. The inhabitants divide their attention between commerce and fishing.


Capraja (anc. Capraria and AEgilon), a small volcanic island of the Mediterranean, between the N. point of Corsica and the coast of Tuscany. It is about 15 m. in circumference; its surface is generally mountainous, and its principal product is wine. Wild goats still abound in the mountains. It has a town of its own name, with a safe harbor. In 1507 the island was taken from Corsica by the Genoese, and it is now a part of the province of Genoa.


Caprera, a small island in the Mediterranean, lying off the N. E. coast of Sardinia, and belonging to the province of Sassari. It contains about 6,700 acres, and is notable for having been for some years the residence of Garibaldi.


Capricorn (Lat. capricornns, from caper, a goat, and cornu, a horn), a zodiacal constellation represented by a goat, or a figure half goat and half fish. Capricorn is believed to represent the form which poets say Pan assumed when, to escape Typhon, he sprang into the Nile. It is the tenth sign of the zodiac, and stands after Sagittarius and before Aquarius. The sun enters it on Dec. 21, when our winter solstice takes place. But the precession of the equinoxes has moved the constellations about 30°, and the constellation Capricorn is not now in the sign of the same name, but in that of Aquarius. - The tropic of Capricorn is the southern of the two small circles which pass through the solstitial points at a distance of 23° 28' 30" from the equator, and so called because it is apparently described when the sun seems to enter the sign Capricorn.