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Human population verses time, fourier transform of that function .

  1. Sep 10, 2009 #1
    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?

    Thank you for your help.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 10, 2009 #2

    berkeman

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    Staff: Mentor

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

    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?
     
  4. Sep 10, 2009 #3
    Re: Human population verses time, fourier transform of that "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.
     
  5. Sep 10, 2009 #4

    berkeman

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

    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...
     
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