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Homework Help: Graphing Question (Software Related!)

  1. Oct 9, 2005 #1
    Hello everyone,

    For a Physics Lab, I have to graph the acceleration of an object. I was curious as to which programs would be reccomended in using, keeping in mind that it has to contain a smooth curve. Thanks in Advance,

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 9, 2005 #2

    Tom Mattson

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    MS Excel can do a curve fit from a data table. It can even give you an equation for the graph. Have you tried that?
  4. Oct 9, 2005 #3
    Nope, I haven't. But i've been told that Excel can't do that? But I will give it a shot personally, thanks. When you say equasion, do you mean like a parabala?
  5. Oct 9, 2005 #4


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    It absolutely can. Plot your data. In the plot left click on the data series once and then right click. The menu that pops up will have an option to "Insert Trendline." If the acceleration is a constant, select linear from the type. Also, go to the options tab and put a check mark in the "display equation" and "display R^2 value" to have the regression equation shown on your plot.
  6. Oct 9, 2005 #5


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    If you have never plotted graphs using Excel before, here is a quick primer.

    (1) pair your data in two columns, left column for horizontal axis, right column for vertical axis
    (2) highlight both columns
    (3) select the chart wizard (icon in toolbar or with pulldown menu Insert>Chart chart type - choose XY scatter, sub-type - data points connected by smoothed lines. The subtype appears as an icon (read text below find the one with smoothed lines)
    (4) continuing with the wizard, you will have option to Label your - Chart Title, X-axis and Y-axis. You can keep a Legend or delete it
    (5) To view your graph, select it and with pulldown menu and select File>Print Preview

    There are lots of ways you can manipulate your plot after that, like getting rid of the default gray background, replace it with no background color; adding vertical lines, choosing your own endpoints for horizontal and vertical axes. If you are curious how to do that, just ask.. or your can learn how to use these features from the Excel Help files.
  7. Oct 10, 2005 #6
    Thank you all! I managed to get exactly what i've wanted through Excel, you guys are great.

    Thanks again,

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