Finding the gradient of a curve without the equation

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Spen
Posts: 70
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 8:28 pm UTC

Finding the gradient of a curve without the equation

Postby Spen » Sat Jun 05, 2010 2:54 pm UTC

This is for a chemistry exam I've got on monday, I know that I'll need to find the tangent to the curve (if this even comes up), the only method I can remember having been taught to do this is to use a plane mirror until the curve is completely symmetrical at the point which you need the gradient of, draw a line along the base of the mirror to give the normal and use a set square to draw the tangent to the curve. One problem with this: I can't find a mirror that I'll be able to take into an exam ANYWHERE, so is there a method to do this accurately without the mirror?
Yes, I have made use of google but I can only find stuff on differentiation, if there is no way to do it without a mirror I might be able to get a hold of one tomorrow if I'm lucky.
Thanks in advance
Spen

achan1058
Posts: 1783
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2008 9:50 pm UTC

Re: Finding the gradient of a curve without the equation

Postby achan1058 » Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:17 pm UTC

Approximate with a ruler. Preferably one with clear plastic. If they don't give you the equation, they don't expect you to be too accurate.

Spen
Posts: 70
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 8:28 pm UTC

Re: Finding the gradient of a curve without the equation

Postby Spen » Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:11 pm UTC

Ok then, just that in the physics practical they didn't but do expect you to be accurate (hence knowing the mirror technique), if it comes up it'll only be a couple of marks anyway.
Thanks


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