Page:Climatic Cycles and Tree-Growth - 1919.djvu/107

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

bers. from 1755 to 1911. The existence of a rhythm in any specified period is indicated by a beaded or corrugated effect. A line across the corrugations gives in fact the rhythmic vibrations of the cycle. On a moment's examination this periodogram shows much of the information which has been under discussion for many years. The 11-year period is the most pronounced, but it is not so superior to all others as would be expected. It may be of any duration from 11.0 to 11.8 years, but 11.4 is a good average. There is obviously a period somewhere between 9.5 and 10.5 years and one between 8.0 and 8.8, but it is less conspicuous. Faint indications of periods are found near 14 years. The double of 8.4 is seen between 16 and 17 years. The double of the 10-year period shows near the 20 and at 22 the double of the 11 begins.

The preliminary part of producing this periodogram is the construction of the "differential pattern" shown in plate 9, b. This pattern is the optical counterpart of a set of columns of numbers arranged for addition, as when one summates a series of annual measures on a 10-year period, for example. The series is arranged in order with the first 10 years in the first line, the second 10 in the second line, and so on. In the case of the pattern the lines are made indefinitely long, so that the optical addition may be done in other directions than merely straight downward, for by making the additions on a slant a different period comes under test.

In order to produce this pattern the sunspot curve was cut out in white paper and pasted in multiple on a black background. The left end of each of the upper lines is the date 1755. Each successive line is moved 10 years to the left, so that passing from above vertically downward each line represents a date 10 years later than its predecessor. This continues from 1755 to 1911, and the lower 10 lines show the latter date at their right ends. It is not necessary that any of the lines should be full length, as we use only a part of each. By passing the eye downward from the top, a period near 10 years will show itself at once by a succession of crests in vertical alinement. If the crests form a line at some angle to the vertical, then the period they indicate is not exactly 10 years. It is more if the slant is to the right and less if to the left. The horizontal lines are spaced the equivalent of 5 years. Hence, if we measure the angle made between a vertical line and a line joining two crests in successive horizontal lines, we may easily calculate by simple formulas the period indicated.

Since the photometric values of all the curves in the diagram are proportional to the plotted ordinates, the photographic summation of the whole pattern in a vertical direction is almost an exact analogue of a numerical summation. This summation is simply done by a positive cylindrical lens with vertical axis. This brings down on the plate a series of vertical lines or stripes. If, now, we cut across these lines with a horizontal slit, the light coming through this slit from one end to the other will be the summation of the diagram in the vertical.