11    Curve Fitting

images 11.1 Introduction

Frequently, measurements of physical quantities are plotted. Though the data points are discrete, we may try to connect them with a smooth curve and then determine the equation that defines that curve. Sometimes doing so may result in the establishment of a physical law. For example, when strain is plotted against stress, Hooke's law is apparent in the region where the elastic behavior is linear.

Good curve fits not only can provide insight into the underlying nature of the phenomenon being observed but also provide a compact representation of the measured data. Surely it would be more convenient if, ...

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