Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Gradient of Curved Lines
Name: Norman
Status: student	
Age:  N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 

Can you find the gradient of a curved line? If yes, how?- is it just the same as for a straight line of best fit?

The gradient (i.e. slope) of a curve can be calculated using calculus. In fact that is one of its major uses. Just "how" to do it without knowing any calculus is not easy to do in a few words. You can look up values of the "derivatives" of various functions in a math handbook or calculus text. If you evaluate the derivative at the point of interest that is the slope of that function at that point. For example, let f(x)= x^2. The derivative of this f'(x) = 2*x. So the slope at x=0 is f'(0)=0; at x=1 then f'(1)=1; the slope at x=2 is f'(2)=4 and so on.

Vince Calder

Click here to return to the Mathematics Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory