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Physics/Plotting graphs in 2nd,3rd & 4th quadrant.


Dear Prof Steve

Can there be examples of plotting line graphs, bargraphs in 2nd,3rd & 4th quadrant of coordinate system?


Hello Prashant,

Yes, there are many examples. My examples come from my electrical background.

Consider plotting current through a resistor against voltage across it. If the current through a resistor is positive, the voltage across it will be positive; putting a line plotting that relationship in the 1st quadrant. If the current through a resistor is negative, the voltage across it will be negative; putting a line plotting that relationship in the 3rd quadrant. If you plot current/voltage measurements of both descriptions, the plot will use 2 quadrants.

Go to
Scroll down about halfway to where you find drawings of Oscilloscope traces. In those drawings, the center of the screen represents the location Voltage=0 and Current=0. The first image is like the plot that would be produced by the situation I described above. Most of the drawings that come next all use all 4 quadrants. The website is plotting 2 related voltages, so it is created by a different situation from what I described above, but they apply to your question.

I hope this helps,


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Steve Johnson


I would be delighted to help with questions up through the first year of college Physics. Particularly Electricity, Electronics and Newtonian Mechanics (motion, acceleration etc.). I decline questions on relativity and Atomic Physics. I also could discuss the Space Shuttle and space flight in general.


I have a BS in Physics and an MS in Electrical Engineering. I am retired now. My professional career was in Electrical Engineering with considerable time spent working with accelerometers, gyroscopes and flight dynamics (Physics related topics) while working on the Space Shuttle. I gave formal classroom lessons to technical co-workers periodically over a several year period.

BS Physics, North Dakota State University
MS Electrical Engineering, North Dakota State University

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