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Durand, Loyal, Jr. (ed.) / Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters
volume XXXI (1938)

James, Harry Raymond; Birge, Edward A.
A laboratory study of the absorption of light by lake waters,   pp. [1]-154 PDF (46.6 MB)


Page 7

 INTRODUCTORY NOTE 7 
EDwARD A. BmGE 
 This Survey acknowledges with gratitude the assistance which has been generously
granted by the Brittingham Trust Fund. The entire cost of the present investigation
of the relations of light and lake waters has been met from this Fund. It
has borne all expenses from the designing and building of the monochromator
to the completion of publication. This aid has enabled the Survey to undertake
and carry through a research so extensive that it was quite beyond the other
resources of the Survey, and yet was one needed as a foundation for other
investigations, such as those on photosynthesis in lakes and on the reaction
of their organisms to light. 
 Grateful acknowledgement is also made of the active cooperation in the study,
of the Department of Physics, University of Wisconsin. The work of Dr. James
was done in the Physics Laboratory, under the immediate direction of the
late Professor C. E. Mendenhall. His untimely death in 1935 has deprived
us of his aid and counsel in the final revision of the Report. 
 The present Report was planned as a contribution to our knowledge of the
ecology of lakes and it must be judged from that point of view. The earlier
study of Dr. Pietenpol (1918) had fully informed us of the variety of the
conditions to be investigated and of the complexity of the agents that affect
light as it penetrates the water of lakes. There was no expectation that
we should be able to quantify these conditions in any such sense as the term
is rightly used in pure physics; but the study has told us quite as much
about the ecology of light in lakes as could be expected. Much has been learned
about the effect on light of color in lake waters, ~nd in the second part
of the Report the percentile results, set forth in Part I, are applied to
the solar energy spectrum. Thus their ecological bearing becomes more manifest.
 In 1933 Dr. James was called to the chair of Physics in Hastings College,
and its duties have claimed most of his time. As a result it has been necessary
for the Survey to edit the Report for 


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