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I've run into an issue with attempting to determine "m".

In a chemistry class we're to determine "m" with one of several tools available. Most are using spread sheets which is causing the confusion.

The problem arises when it seems only Excel allows one to simply set y to zero. This is explicitly mentioned in the text but no other spread sheets I've used are able to reliably do this.

Excel gives m=27040 (with y=0)

Using Numbers and Open Office I get m=30270

Using my HP50G I get m=30270

Using ∑xy/x^2 I get m=27040

I was able to simply use ∑xy/x^2 as I only had 10 values but I could have had hundreds which would have made the operation much more complex to do by hand.

I want to believe the HP50G as I can have it at hand easier than Excel. I would assume HP50G solves with the common parameters.... but the raw math and Excel are the pair which seem more likely.

So...why would one solve for y=0 or not? If it's important why is this function not readily available on common tools?

Thanks,

Whalstib

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# Y=mx+b Solving for m

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