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Unit I Reading – Graphical Methods One of the most effective tools for the visual evaluation of data is a graph. The investigator is usually interested in a quantitative graph that shows the relationship between two variables in the form of a curve. For the relationship y = f(x), x is the independent variable and y is the dependent variable . The rectangular coordinate system is convenient for graphing data, with the values of the dependent variable y being plotted along the vertical axis and the values of the independent variable x plotted along the horizontal axis . Positive values of the dependent variable are traditionally plotted above the origin and positive values of the independent variables to the right of the origin. This convention is not always adhered to in physics, and thus the positive direction along the axes will be indicated by the direction the arrow heads point. The choice of dependent and independent variables is determined by the experimental approach or the character of the data. Generally, the independent variable

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