# graphs - size versus scale

In my new math curriculum there is a jagged line within graphs that shows skipped series of numbers, such as between 0 and 50 when the lowest number is 52+? What is the name of that breaker called?

### Comments for graphs - size versus scale

 Feb 01, 2011 graph size versus scale by: Staff The question: In my new math curriculum there is a jagged line within graphs that shows skipped series of numbers, such as between 0 and 50 when the lowest number is 52+? What is the name of that breaker called? The answer: The jagged line is often used on either the x or y axis for a couple of reasons: 1. to limit the overall size of the graph so that it can fit into the space available 2. to expand the scale on the most important part of the graph For example, suppose the data points (y values) are: 1000.01, 1000.02, 1000.03, 1000.04. From zero to 1000 there are no data points. In order to emphasize the .01, .02, .03, and .04, the scale between 1000 and 1001 must be divided up into 100 units. To start at zero and include 100 units between each digit (1 to 2, 2 to 3, etc – all the way up to 1000) would take an immense amount of paper. To solve this problem, a jagged line may be substituted for all the values on the y axis from 0 to 1000. The scale from 1000 to 1001 is expanded to show 100 units. The result could look something like this: http://www.solving-math-problems.com/images/graph-expanded-y-axis.png I am not aware of any special name used for the jagged line, but there may be one. I have heard the term “broken line” used to refer to the jagged line. However, it would be easy to confuse “broken line” with a broken line graph. Thanks for writing. Staff www.solving-math-problems.com

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