Student handout: Gaussian Parameters

Periodic Systems (2 years)
Students use an applet to explore the role of the parameters \(N\), \(x_o\), and \(\sigma\) in the shape of a Gaussian \begin{equation} f(x)=Ne^{-\frac{(x-x_0)^2}{2\sigma^2}} \end{equation}
What students learn
  • Increasing \(N\) increases the height of the Gaussian,
  • increasing \(x_0\) shifts the Gaussian to the right,
  • increasing \(\sigma\) makes the Gaussian wider.

A Gaussian is a function of the form \begin{equation} f(x)=Ne^{-\frac{(x-x_0)^2}{2\sigma^2}} \end{equation} Use the applet at Gaussians to explore the role of the parameters \(N\), \(x_o\), and \(\sigma\) in the shape of a Gaussian. Make sure that not only do you know the role of each parameter, but also that you can EXPLAIN this behaviour based on the algebraic expression for the Gaussian function.


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Learning Outcomes