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Before you get started, take this readiness quiz.

  1. Simplify: 1 4 8 2 .
    If you missed this problem, review Subtract Integers .
  2. Divide: 0 4 , 4 0 .
    If you missed this problem, review Solve Equations with Decimals .
  3. Simplify: 15 −3 , −15 3 , −15 −3 .
    If you missed this problem, review Add Integers .

As we’ve been graphing linear equations, we’ve seen that some lines slant up as they go from left to right and some lines slant down. Some lines are very steep and some lines are flatter. What determines whether a line slants up or down, and if its slant is steep or flat?

The steepness of the slant of a line is called the slope of the line . The concept of slope has many applications in the real world. The pitch of a roof and the grade of a highway or wheelchair ramp are just some examples in which you literally see slopes. And when you ride a bicycle, you feel the slope as you pump uphill or coast downhill.

Use geoboards to model slope

In this section, we will explore the concepts of slope.

Using rubber bands on a geoboard gives a concrete way to model lines on a coordinate grid. By stretching a rubber band between two pegs on a geoboard, we can discover how to find the slope of a line. And when you ride a bicycle, you feel the slope as you pump uphill or coast downhill.

Doing the Manipulative Mathematics activity "Exploring Slope" will help you develop a better understanding of the slope of a line.

We’ll start by stretching a rubber band between two pegs to make a line as shown in [link] .

The figure shows a grid of evenly spaced dots. There are 5 rows and 5 columns. There is a rubber band style loop connecting the point in column 1 row 4 and the point in column 4 row 2.

Does it look like a line?

Now we stretch one part of the rubber band straight up from the left peg and around a third peg to make the sides of a right triangle as shown in [link] . We carefully make a 90 ° angle around the third peg, so that one side is vertical and the other is horizontal.

The figure shows a grid of evenly spaced dots. There are 5 rows and 5 columns. There is a rubber band style triangle connecting three of the three points at column 1 row 2, column 1 row 4,and column 4 row 2.

To find the slope of the line, we measure the distance along the vertical and horizontal legs of the triangle. The vertical distance is called the rise and the horizontal distance is called the run , as shown in [link] .

This figure shows two arrows. The first arrow is vertical and is labeled “rise”. The second arrow begins at the end of the first arrow extending to the right and is labeled “run”.

...

On our geoboard, the rise is 2 units because the rubber band goes up 2 spaces on the vertical leg. See [link] .

What is the run? Be sure to count the spaces between the pegs rather than the pegs themselves! The rubber band goes across 3 spaces on the horizontal leg, so the run is 3 units.

The figure shows a grid of evenly spaced dots. There are 5 rows and 5 columns. There is a rubber band style triangle connecting three of the three points at column 1 row 2, column 1 row 4, and column 4 row 2. The triangle has a rise of 2 units and a run of 3 units.

The slope of a line is the ratio of the rise to the run. So the slope of our line is 2 3 . In mathematics, the slope is always represented by the letter m .

Slope of a line

The slope of a line is m = rise run .

The rise measures the vertical change and the run measures the horizontal change.

What is the slope of the line on the geoboard in [link] ?

m = rise run
m = 2 3
The line has slope 2 3 .

When we work with geoboards, it is a good idea to get in the habit of starting at a peg on the left and connecting to a peg to the right. Then we stretch the rubber band to form a right triangle.

If we start by going up the rise is positive, and if we stretch it down the rise is negative. We will count the run from left to right, just like you read this paragraph, so the run will be positive.

Since the slope formula has rise over run, it may be easier to always count out the rise first and then the run.

Questions & Answers

what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
Daniel
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Maciej
characteristics of micro business
Abigail
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Anassong
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Harper
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
tahir
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
Cied
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
China
Cied
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
Porter
many many of nanotubes
Porter
what is the k.e before it land
Yasmin
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
Cesar
I'm interested in nanotube
Uday
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
AMJAD
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Prealgebra. OpenStax CNX. Jul 15, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11756/1.9
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