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Spreadsheet Techniques in Physics Calculations

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Executive Summary

The spreadsheet is a general purpose calculation tool and has many uses in physics. In particular, it is very good for one-time data manipulation and for developing calculations which then can be made into programs if one needs to do the calculations repetitively. Modern spreadsheets also will permit one to perform data fitting and plot the results. While there are better tools for each of these specific functions than a spreadsheet, the all-in-one nature of the spreadsheet makes it a good place to start. In the following exercises, one will be taking equations and experimental data and transferring them to a spreadsheet where they can be manipulated. There are four separate applications, each of which demonstrates a different aspect of spreadsheet use.

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