Graphical analysis is the process of taking experimental data, making a graph, and plugging the values from the graph (including the slope and y-intercept) into the slope intercept form of a linear equation. This will generate an equation relating the two variables from the experiment, assuming that there is a relationship.
The software simulates an experiment that illustrates graphical analysis using the two variables of volume and height from a liquid poured into a large graduated cylinder. You can use an actual graduated cylinder and do the experiment “live.” Take the large graduated cylinder, preferably with the markings worn off, and attach a cm tape along the side. Make sure that the tape starts above the bottom of the cylinder. Have students come up, measure out 100 cm3 of colored liquid into the graduated cylinder, measure the height using the cm tape, and repeat several times. Make a graph placing the volume on the y-axis which will yield a straight line. Find the slope and y-intercept and place all of the graph values into the slope intercept form linear equation y=mx+b.
I like to emphasize that graphical analysis requires no theory. We don’t need to know anything about the variables involved except how to measure them. The experimental data will lead us to the correct relationship. Graphical analysis is an empirical method, one that utilizes no theory and is entirely experimental.
The files are all included in a zip file. Extract the files and double click on the html file to run the software. The files are as follows:
ApplicationH.html & ApplicationH.swf
System Requirements: PC or MAC computer, Flash player
InstructorsNotes.docx (this file)
Homework.docx – homework
Homework_Key.docx – homework key
Vvsh.xls – Excel file of experiment graph
Vvshgraph_slope.jpg – jpg file of experiment graph
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science, physics, graphs, graphical analysis, potting, graduated cylinder, empirical, variables