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MAGNETOGRAPH

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Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 386 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MAGNETOGRAPH, an instrument for continuously recording the values of the magnetic elements, the three universally chosen being the declination, the horizontal component and the vertical component (see TERRESTRIAL MAGNETISM). In each case the magnetograph only records the variation of the element, the absolute values .being determined by making observations in the neighbourhood with the unifilar magnetometer (q.v.) and inclinometer (q.v.). Declination.—The changes in declination are obtained by means of a magnet which is suspended by a long fibre and carries a mirror, immediately below which a fixed mirror is attached to the base of the instrument. Both mirrors are usually concave ; if plane, a concave lens is placed immediately before them. Light passing through a vertical slit falls upon the mirrors, from which it is reflected, and two images of the slit are produced, one by the movable mirror attached to the magnet and the other by the fixed mirror. These images would be short lines of light; but a piano-cylindrical lens is placed with its axis horizontal just in front of the recording surface. In this way a spot of light is obtained from each mirror. The recording surface is a sheet of photographic paper wrapped round a drum which is rotated at a constant speed by clockwork about a horizontal axis. The light reflected from the fixed mirror traces a straight line on the paper, serving as a base line from which the variations in declination are measured. As the declination changes the spot of light reflected from the magnet mirror moves parallel to the axis of the recording drum, and hence the distance between the line traced by this spot and the base line gives, for any instant, on an arbitrary scale the difference between the declination and a constant angle, namely, the declination corresponding to the base line. The value of this constant angle is obtained by comparing the record with the value for the declination as measured with a magnetometer. The value in terms of arc of the scale of the record can be obtained by measuring the distance between the magnet mirror and the recording drum, and in most observations it is such that a millimetre on the record represents one minute of arc. The time scale ordinarily employed is 15 mm. per hour, but in modern instruments provision is generally made for the time scale to be increased at will to 18o mm. per hour, so that the more rapid variations of the declination can be followed. The advantages of using small magnets, so that their moment of inertia may be small and hence they may be able to respond to rapid changes in the earth's field, were first insisted upon by E. Mascart,' while M. Eschenhagen2 first designed a set of magnetographs in which this idea of small moment of inertia was carried to its useful limit, the magnets only weighing 1.5 gram each, and the suspension consisting of a very fine quartz fibre. Horizontal Force.—The variation of the horizontal force is obtained by the motion of a magnet which is carried either by a bifilar sus-pension or by a fairly stiff metal wire or quartz fibre. The upper end of the suspension is turned.till the axis of the magnet is at right angles to the magnetic meridian. In this position the magnet is in equilibrium under the action of the torsion of the suspension and the couple exerted by the horizontal component, H, of the earth's field, this couple depending on the product of H into the magnetic moment, M, of the magnet. Hence if H varies the magnet will rotate in such a way that the couple due to torsion is equal to the new value of H multiplied by M. Since the movements of the magnet are always small, the rotation of the magnet is proportional to the change in H, so long as M and the couple, 9, corresponding to unit twist of the suspension system remain constant. When the temperature changes, however, both M and B in general change. With rise of temperature M decreases, and this alone will produce the same effect as would a decrease in H. To allow for this effect of temperature a compensating system of metal bars is attached to the upper end of the bifilar suspension, so arranged that with rise of temperature the fibres are brought nearer together and hence the value of 0 decreases. Since such a decrease in B would by itself cause the magnet to turn in the same direction as if H had increased, it is possible in a great measure to neutralize the effects of temperature on the reading of the instrument. In the case of the unifilar suspension, the provision of a temperature compensation is not so easy, so that what is generally done is to protect the instrument from temperature variation as much as possible and then to correct the indications so as to allow for the residual changes, a continuous record of the temperature being kept by a recording thermograph attached to the instrument. In the Eschenhagen pattern instrument, in which a single quartz fibre is used for the suspension, two magnets are placed in the vicinity of the suspended magnet and are so arranged that their field partly neutralizes the earth's field ; thus the torsion required to hold the magnet with its axis perpendicular to the earth's field is reduced, and the arrangement permits of the sensitiveness being altered by changing the position of the deflecting magnets. Further, by suitably choosing the positions of the deflectors and the coefficient of torsion of the fibre, it is possible to make the temperature coefficient vanish. (See Adolf Schmidt, Zeits. fiir Instrumentenkunde, 1907, 27, 145.) The method of recording the variations in H is exactly the same as that adopted in the case of the declination, and the sensitiveness generally adopted is such that i mm. on the record represents a change in H of .00005 C.G.S., the time scale being the same as that employed in the case of the declination. Vertical Component.—To record the variations of the vertical component use is made of a magnet mounted on knife edges so that it can turn freely about a horizontal axis at right angles to its ' Report British Association, Bristol, 1898, p. 741. 2 Verhandlungen der deutschen physikalischen Gesellschaft, 1899, I, 147; or Terrestrial Magnetism, 1900, 5, 59. Ii length (H. Lloyd, Proc. Roy. Irish Acad., 1839, 1, 334). The magnet is so weighted that its axis is approximately horizontal, and any change in the inclination of the axis is observed by means of an attached mirror, a second mirror fixed to the stand serving to give a base line for the records, which are obtained in the same way as in the case of the declination. The magnet is in equilibrium under the influence of the couple VM due to the vertical component V, and the couple due to the fact that the centre of gravity is slightly on one side of the knife-edge. Hence when, say, V decreases the couple VM decreases, and hence the north end of the balanced magnet rises, and vice versa. The chief difficulty with this form of instrument is that it is very sensitive to changes of temperature, for such changes not only alter M but also in general cause the centre of gravity of the system to be displaced with reference to the knife-edge. To reduce these effects the magnet is fitted with compensating bars, generally of zinc, so adjusted by trial that as far as possible they neutralize the effect of changes of temperature. In the Eschenhagen form of vertical force balance two deflecting magnets are used to partly neutralize the vertical component, so that the centre of gravity is almost exactly over the support. By varying the positions of these deflecting magnets it is possible to compensate for the effects of changes of temperature (A. Schmidt, loc. cit.). In order to eliminate the irregularity which is apt to be introduced by dust, &c., interfering with the working of the knif e-edge, W. Watson (Phil. Mag., 1904 [6j, 7, 393) designed a form of vertical force balance in which the magnet with its mirror is attached to the mid point of a horizontal stretched quartz fibre. The temperature compensation is obtained by attaching a small weight to the magnet, and then bringing it back to the horizontal position by twisting the fibre. The scale values of the records given by the horizontal and vertical force magnetographs are determined by deflecting the respective needles, either by means of a magnet placed at a known distance or by passing an electric current through circular coils of large diameter surrounding the instruments. The width of the photographic sheet which receives the spot of light reflected from the mirrors in the above instruments is generally so great that in the case of ordinary changes the curve does not go off the paper. Occasionally, however, during a disturbance such is not the case, and hence a portion of the trace would be lost. To overcome this difficulty Eschenhagen in his earlier type of instruments attached to each magnet two mirrors, their planes being inclined at a small angle so that when the spot reflected from one mirror goes off the paper, that corresponding to the other comes on. In the later pattern a third mirror is added of which the plane is inclined at about 3o° to the horizontal. The light from the slit is reflected on to this mirror by an inclined fixed mirror, and after reflection at the movable mirror is again reflected at the fixed mirror and so reaches the recording drum. By this arrangement the angular rotation of the reflected beam is less than that of the magnet, and hence the spot of light reflected from this mirror yields a trace on a much smaller scale than that given by the ordinary mirror and serves to give a complete record of even the most energetic disturbance. See also Balfour Stewart, Report of the British Association, Aberdeen, 1859, 200, a description of the type of instrument used in the older observatories; E. Mascart, Traiti de magnetisme terrestre, p. 191; W. Watson, Terrestrial Magnetism, 1901, 6, 187, describing magnetographs used in India; M. Eschenhagen, Verhandlungen der deutschen physikalischen Gesellschaft, 1899, 1, 147; Terrestrial Magnetism, 1900, 5, 59; and 1901, 6, 59; Zeits. far Instrumentenkunde, 1907, 27, 137; W. G. Cady, Terrestrial Magnetism, 1904, 9, 69, describing a declination magnetograph in which the record is obtained by means of a pen acting on a moving strip of paper, so that the curve can be consulted at all times to see whether a disturbance is in progress. The effects of temperature being so marked on the readings of the horizontal and vertical force magnetographs, it is usual to place the instruments either in an underground room or in a room which, by means of double walls and similar devices, is protected as much as possible from temperature changes. For descriptions of the arrangements adopted in some observatories see the following: U.S. observatories, Terrestrial Magnetism, 1903, 8, 1 I ; Utrecht, Terrestrial Magnetism, 1900, 5, 49; St Maur, Terrestrial Magnetism, 1898, 3, 1; Potsdam, VerSffentlichungen des k. preuss. meteorol. Instituts, " Ergebnisse der rnagnetischen Beobachtungen in Potsdam in den Jahren 1890 and 1891 ;" Pavlovsk, Das Konstantinow'sche meteorologische and magnetische Observatorium in Pavlovsk," Ausgabe der kaiserl. Akad. der Wissenschaften zu St Petersburg, 1895. (W. Wx.)
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