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MathGroup Archive 2004

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Re: PlotPoints in plot

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg48578] Re: PlotPoints in plot
  • From: Bill Rowe <readnewsciv at>
  • Date: Sat, 5 Jun 2004 07:19:45 -0400 (EDT)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

On 6/4/04 at 4:49 AM, mathma18 at ("G.L.Narasimham") wrote:

>For the plot command  Plot[Sqrt[1-x^2],{x,-1,1},PlotPoints->3] I
>expected to see a triangle joining 3 points on a circle, but a
>continuous line ( default PlotPoints->20? )appears. 

The PlotPoints option specifies the number of points to initially sample. The actual number of points sampled is determined by a combination of PlotPoints, MaxBend and PlotDivision. What happens is the default settings of MaxBend and PlotDivision cause Mathematica to sample the function sufficiently that you get a smooth curve in this case.

You can force Mathematica to not sample more points then specified by PlotPoints by setting PlotDivision to 1. But I don't think this does what you are looking for.

If I wanted to plot a polygon, I would first create a list of the vertices to be plotted then use ListPlot with PlotJoined->True
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