They range from a millimetre or so (smaller species of Aeolosoma) to 6 ft.
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.
The general nature of the phenomena is thus easily understood; but it is at a maximum at pressures comparable with a millimetre of mercury, at which the free path is still small, the greater number of molecules operating in intensifying the result.
With a period of 18 seconds, and the record-receiving paper at a distance of about 15 ft., a deflection of I millimetre of the light spot may indicate a tilting of AD part of a second of arc, or I in.
But for refined work this would imply the investigation of too many divisions of the scale; it is therefore more usual to divide the scale into single millimetres or half-millimetres and to provide a micrometer which subdivides the millimetre into 1000 or, by estimation, into Io,000 parts.