Page:Climatic Cycles and Tree-Growth - 1919.djvu/106

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CLIMATIC CYCLES AND TREE-GROWTH.

scale could easily be cast in all sizes upon a plotted curve. But all these methods of equal spacing on a plotted curve leave far too much to the individual judgment of the investigator.


THE OPTICAL PERIODOGRAPH.


A method of periodic analysis well adapted to the work in hand has been developed by the writer as the need for it became more and more evident. Along with the feeling of need for rapid analysis was the increasing recognition of the desirability of some process which would place mere individual judgment and personal equation as far in the background as possible.

Schuster's periodogram. — In 1898, Schuster suggested the use of the word "periodogram" as analogous to the word spectrogram; that is, a periodogram is a curve or a photograph which indicates the intensity of time periods just as the spectrogram indicates intensity of space-periods or wave-lengths. The spectrogram commonly gives its intensities by varying photographic density along a band of progressive wave-lengths. For the periodogram Schuster made simply a plotted curve, of which the abscissæ represented progressive time-periods and the ordinates represented intensities. He made a mathematical analysis of the sunspot numbers and constructed a periodogram which is reproduced in figure 30. It shows periods at its crest at 4.38, 4.80, 8.36, 11.125, and 13.50 years.

Climatic Cycles and Tree-Growth Fig 30.jpg

Fig. 30.—Schuster's periodogram of the sunspot numbers.

The optical periodogram. — It is, of course, not necessary that the periodogram should take the form of a plotted curve with intensities represented by ordinates, nor yet need it be exactly like a spectrogram showing intensities by density. The first periodogram produced by the writer is shown in plate 9, a. It is an analysis of the sunspot num-