How do graphs help you as a scientist?
One purpose of scientific investigation is to understand the relationship between two
variables. For example, the graph shown below is a sample taken from Science Workshop, a
program commonly used in high school physics labs. This graph shows the relationship
between two variables; time and temperature. The data was collected during an experiment
where a metal was being heated. The independent variable (time) is represented on the x
axis and the dependent variable (temperature) is represented on the y axis. The
slope of the graph (Dy / Dx) represents the change in temperature over a
given time period.
The three graphs below each represent the
relationship between two variables: the change in world population over time, the change
in the oil production over time, and the change in the growth of plants given different
amounts of water.
Click on title or image below to get larger
image with an explanation.
Copyright © 1998 Central Virginia Governor's School for Science and Technology Lynchburg, VA