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Graphing in Physics

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**Graphing A way to display data that is collected in an experiment.**

They must be constructed accurately so data is understood. Three main types of graphs: line, pie and bar.

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**4 parts of a graph Title & Axis labels Independent variable**

Scales for variable

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**Parts of the Graph Title- Depicts what the graph is about.**

It should be a statement placed above the graph to help explain the graph. Axis labels give units and description of data. The Independent Variable- it is the ONE thing in the experiment that is controlled by the experimenter. It usually concerns time, depth, or temperature. It is on the horizontal or x-axis.

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Parts of a Graph Dependent Variable –is the variable that is directly affected by the changes in the independent variable. This variable is placed on the vertical or Y-axis. Scales for each variable- In order to plot a graph you must set a scale to include all the data points. The scale will start with 0 and climb in equal intervals such as 2,5,10 etc. The scales for the x and y axis can be different.

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**Graphing Scientific Data**

Use the best fit line. You don’t connect dot-to-dot but draw a line that goes through most of the points. Interpolation- is used when you get approximate values that are between points. Extrapolation- is used to approximate values beyond the range of the data.

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**Accuracy & Neatness in graphing**

To convey the data correctly all parts of the graph must be accurate and neat. Rulers and graph paper should always be used. Graphs must fit the graph paper you can adjust the scale so they fit. A graph is incomplete if the title and axis labels are missing.

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