Entering and Plotting Data Using Spreadsheets
A Detailed Example using Sample Data from the Density Experiment
An Outline of this Document:
I.
To Learn Spreadsheets Efficiently
II.
The Basics of Using Spreadsheets
1.
Labeling Columns
2.
Entering Data.
3.
Plotting
4.
Final Adjustments
5.
Removing Wrong Lines
III.
Best Fit Lines
1.
Overview
2.
Drawing the Best Fit Lines
3.
Slope and Intercept with more SFs available
4.
Pasting the Graph
5.
Formatting and Pasting the Spreadsheet
6.
Demonstrating Calculations
I.
To Learn Spreadsheets Efficiently
If you are new to spreadsheets, we recommend
doing every action in this
spreadsheet as it is written, using the sample data
.
In that way, you can easily check
to see if you have entered formulas correctly (in which calculated results will match the
example).
This will actually save you a lot of time “debugging”.
Then, you will only
need to adapt the sample spreadsheet by overlaying your actual experimental data on top
of the sample data.
You will not have to change any formulas, only a few columns of
data.
The beauty of the spreadsheet program is that it will update all the calculations.
II.
The Basics of Using Spreadsheets.
In each cell, you can put a number, some text or an equation.
Resist the temptation to put
numbers
and
unit labels into the
same
cell of the spreadsheet.
When letters are part of a
cell, Excel interprets the cell as containing text only.
Text is considered to have a
numerical value of zero.
So, when such a cell is used in a mathematical formula the
result will always be zero or undefined.
1.
Labeling columns
.
The first thing that we want to do is to label some columns that
we can remember what we have done.
We can start anywhere on a spreadsheet page, but
it’s often good practice to start a few rows down and a few columns over so that you can
easily add data later (such as important constants) if you want to.
So let's start at row 5
and column B.
Use the mouse to click on cell B5.
In this cell, let's label the first column,
which is the volume of solution.
Type in "V, mL", and then press ENTER.
V, mL
should now appear in cell B5.
Using the arrow keys or the mouse, move to cell C5.
The
second column will be the "mass, g".
Enter this in the same way.
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Entering data
.
In columns B and C, starting at cells B6 and C6, enter the following
volumes.
V
,
m
L
m
a
s
s
,
g
2
1.5
4
3.4
10
8.2
20
15.4
34
27.0
47
37.7
This is your raw data.
3.
Plotting
.
Here, we wish to have a graph of Mass (dependent variable, yaxis) versus
Volume (independent variable, xaxis).
To plot the data, we need to tell the program the
type of graph to plot, which values are to go on the yaxis, which go on the xaxis, and
the labels for the axes.
Unfortunately, software writers have tried to automate the
graphing process too much.
If we try to graph this data automatically, you will get a real
mess.
To avoid that problem, highlight only the mass values
(i.e. the values for the y
axis).
To highlight the values, move the cursor to the first mass value (1.5).
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 Fall '09
 YI
 Chemistry

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