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I have a physics project, and I have to develop an argument, but am not allowed to use phrases like "From the graph you can tell..."

How can the nature of the graph be determined manually, e.g. finding that it is expontential rather than quadratic?

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If you are not allowed to use arguments like “from the graph you can tell …”, you should be given another representation of the function, or else you have no chance. Do you have a concrete mapping assignment? –  k.stm May 10 '13 at 7:45
    
Basically, I have conducted an experiment, and I shouldn't rely on software to develop my argument. –  DarkLightA May 10 '13 at 7:57

1 Answer 1

Well if you guess that it is exponential, you could find a suitable change of variables so that the resulting pair of variables are supposed to be linearly related, and then you can draw a best-fit line and compute the correlation coefficient if appropriate. To test for a quadratic relation, you might want to use some polynomial interpolation technique. You may want to look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linear_regression and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Least_squares for details.

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