Jefferson seems to have been the first discoverer of an exact formula for the construction of mould-boards of least resistance for ploughs.
This principle of least resistance renders determinate many problems in the statics of structures which were formerly considered indeterminate.
In Asia, after the accession of Nicholas II., the expansion of Russia, following the line of least resistance and stimulated by the construction of the Trans-Siberian railway, took the direction of northern China and the effete little kingdom of Korea.
We do not always know the least resistance which it is safe to give to a retaining wall subject to the pressure of earth, or conversely, the maximum resistance to side-thrust which natural or embanked earth will afford, because we wisely neglect the important but very variable element of adhesion between the particles.
While steam has been said to make a ship independent of wind and tide, it is still true that a long voyage even by steam must be planned so as to encounter the least resistance possible from prevailing winds and permanent currents, and this involves the application of oceanographical and meteorological knowledge.
Syria happens to lie on the line of least resistance for communication between the early subtropic seats of civilization in the Nile and Euphrates valleys and the civilizations of Europe.
The very common complaint of British consuls that British firms neglect to send out travellers may have some foundation, but a commercial house naturally follows the line of least resistance to the development of its trade, and cannot be expected to work remote and barren ground when better opportunities are near at hand.
But it is obvious that certain distributions will predominate, for the crystals will tend to fall so as to offer the least resistance to their motion; a needle-shaped crystal tending to keep its axis vertical, a plate-shaped crystal to keep its axis horizontal.