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ListPlot with small numbers

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: ListPlot with small numbers
  • From: Simon Chandler <simonc at>
  • Date: Thu, 22 Oct 92 10:52:16 +0100


Dear MathGroup,

Can anyone tell me why Mathematica versions 2.0 and 2.1 won't ListPlot
numbers smaller than $MachinePrecision.  For example

ListPlot[{1 10^-34,2 10^-34,3 10^-34}]

results in a graph with y-axes from -0.5 to +0.5 with the points
plotted at y = 0.

I would have thought, since all numbers in the list are of the same
magnitude, that the plotting routines would automatically scale the
plot to give a straight line graph with gradient 10^-34.  Indeed this
was exactly what Mathematica version 1.0 did.

Of course a pre-plotting `filter' could be written to do the scaling but
why is this no longer automatically done?

Simon Chandler
Hewlett-Packard Ltd (CPB)
Filton Road
Stoke Gifford
BS12 6QZ

Tel: 0272 228109
Fax: 0272 236091
email: at

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