# Human population verses time, fourier transform of that function .

Gold Member

## Main Question or Discussion Point

Human population verses time, fourier transform of that "function".

Let the human population of the Earth be plotted verses time.

Assume that this function is almost continuous. What would a Fourier Time Transform of that function look like?

Is there a "strong" exponential component of such a transform?

Does the fact that the above function is acually a step function of time make the problem interesting?

berkeman
Mentor

Let the human population of the Earth be plotted verses time.

Assume that this function is almost continuous. What would a Fourier Time Transform of that function look like?

Is there a "strong" exponential component of such a transform?

Does the fact that the above function is acually a step function of time make the problem interesting?

What is the context of the question? Is it school work?

And why do you want to take a Fourier transform of a monotonically increasing, bounded function?

Gold Member

What is the context of the question? Is it school work?

And why do you want to take a Fourier transform of a monotonically increasing, bounded function?
Son's homework in a fashion. I was tired and drew a blank. The question was is human population growth exponential. For small time frames I'm guessing that a exponential function can closely approximate human population for some time periods, but in reality the function it is the sum of many "basic" functions of time? Thank you.

berkeman
Mentor

I googled human population versus time, and got lots of useful hits. Here's one:

http://desip.igc.org/populationmaps.html

Do you have the raw numbers? It's kind of like the game of "Life", I would think. Where it there is infinite food and no predators or disease, then yes, population growth would be exponential. But as you say, there are other factors...