Intercepts of Non-Linear Graphs
- Non-linear graphs can have no intercepts, one intercept or multiple intercepts along either axis.
Above is a graph showing the profits earned by a community theatre in the years before they changed management. In the context of this situation, we can say that the intercepts at t=-3, -2 and 1 years represent points at which the community theatre just broke even (i.e. no profit or loss). The intercept at P=$1000 represents the profits made in the year the new management took over.
- It may interest us to know the highest, or lowest values that the y-variable has taken. For example, if we want to find the highest a tide has been in a year in order to know how high to build a support structure.
- The maximum and minimum points of non-linear graphs will be points of 0 gradient or the endpoints of a section (i.e. where a graph ends or undergoes structural change).
- There may be multiple minimum points and/or multiple maximum points.