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This text is meant to accompany class discussions. It is not everything there is to know about dimensional analysis. It is meant as a  prep for class.

Click for the questions that go with this reading
Skill: Finding the Slope from a Curve


Here's the question. The motion of a vehicle is not steady. It varies according to the graph below. The question is how do you find the slope at a point in time on a curved graph. For example: What is the slope at 15 seconds on the curve below.

This you video will show how this is done.

This video can be found on YouTube at,

  • Question
  • Solution

Draw a line such that it is long and touches the curve near the point of interest at only on spot. (Do not worry about the fact that this line also touches the line later in the curve.)

Here's the math to calculate the tangent's slope.

Pick two points on the tangent that go through corners of the grid AND are far apart. Use them to find the slope.


by Tony Wayne ...(If you are a teacher, please feel free to use these resources in your teaching.)

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