Volume 1, Issue 5, 01 November 1931
Index of content:
1(1931); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.1745009View Description Hide Description
Visibility of point sources.—Laboratory experiments have been devised to make measurements of the visibility of light signals under conditions essentially similar to those encountered by the aviator or the navigator. Data have been collected on the direct visibility of flashing point sources of light of different colors, flash lengths and intervals, against different backgrounds; the time it takes to locate a visible beacon was studied as a function of the beacon intensity and frequency of flashing. The threshold candle power C required for visibility of a point source at distance D (cm) against a background of brightness H (candles×cm−2) is given by the empirical equation C/D 2=3.5×10−9 H 1/2. Colored point sources were not found to be useful except in the case of red lights with background intensities above moonlight. For an airplane approaching a beacon it is advantageous to use frequencies of flashing as high as 12 to 30 per minute, although with exceptionally clear atmosphere, lower frequencies may be better.
Visibility of diffuse light.—In a study of the visibility of flashes of diffuse light superimposed on a steady white background, white light flashes gave the best results. The sensitivity of the eye to light from point sources is from 10,000 to 170,000 times as great as from diffuse sources, this range corresponding to an increase in background brightness from 0.1 starlight up to moonlight. A selective differential photoelectric receiver is described which detects signals of modulated diffuse light of an intensity of only 4×10−11 candles×cm−2. This sensitivity is independent of the steady background brightness up to 100 times moonlight, and is from 6 to 13,000 times as great as that of the eye in the range of background intensity from darkness up to moonlight.
Diffusion of light in fog. —The greatest difficulty in transmission of light signals through fog lies in the loss of advantages of the point source. Dense fog may increase the distances at which diffuse light signals may be detected. The range depends to a considerable extent on the reflectivity of the ground. A theoretical treatment of the diffusion of light through fog, based on the scattering of the light rays by fog particles, indicates that airplanes can be guided through fog at distances of several miles by means of diffuse modulated light acting on a differential photoelectric receiver.
1(1931); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.1745010View Description Hide Description
The flow of liquids in unsaturated porous mediums follows the ordinary laws of hydrodynamics, the motion being produced by gravity and the pressure gradient force acting in the liquid. By making use of Darcey's law, that flow is proportional to the forces producing flow, the equation may be derived for the capillary conduction of liquids in porous mediums. It is possible experimentally to determine the capillary potential ψ=∫dp/ρ, the capillary conductivity K, which is defined by the flow equation q=K(g−▿ψ), and the capillary capacity A, which is the rate of change of the liquid content of the medium with respect to ψ. These variables are analogous, respectively, to the temperature, thermal conductivity, and thermal capacity in the case of heat flow. Data are presented and application of the equations is made for the capillary conduction of water through soil and clay but the mathematical formulations and the experimental methods developed may be used to express capillary flow for other liquids and mediums. The possible existance of a hysteresis effect between the capillary potential and moisture content of a porous medium is considered.