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Re: [Phys-L] axes labels

I think it is a bad idea to label a point in the curve with symbols since the point represents specific values. A good question to ask about the graph is what is the meaning of the points that make up the line to emphasize concretely that each point on the graph in your example represents The position of the object at some particular clock reading
You could label the spots x= the value and t= the value but not x and t

My thoughts. Stay well

Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 26, 2020, at 10:29 AM, Carl Mungan via Phys-l <> wrote:

This is a minor matter, but it bothers me and I’m wondering if there’s an alternative?

Suppose we have a graph. Let’s say it’s position x in meters vs time t in seconds for definiteness. Draw the axes. Label with a symbol what is being plotted on each axis. Sketch in some arbitrary curve. Choose an arbitrary point on that curve. Draw dashed lines that run parallel to each axis and intercept the other axis. Label with a symbol each of these intersection points to indicate the coordinates of that arbitrary point.

Okay, what did you come up with for those two sets of labels (those labeling the axes and those labeling the coordinates of the point)?

I come up with the same labels in both cases, namely x on the vertical and t on the horizontal.

It bothers me to have the same labels in two different places on the axes like that (one at the ends of the axes perhaps, and one at some arbitrary “intermediate” point along them).


Carl E. Mungan, Professor of Physics 410-293-6680 (O) -3729 (F)
Naval Academy Stop 9c, 572C Holloway Rd, Annapolis MD 21402-1363

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