Diagrams for Organizing Data

Diagrams are sometimes like a picture with labels. Other diagrams are charts that show how information can be organized.

Diagram of Eukaryote and Prokaryote Cells

This is a typical diagram that you might find in a Biology Textbook. It is like a picture with labels. This one compares the simple, more primitive Prokarote cellProkaryote and Eukaryote Cells with the more complex, more advanced Eukaryote cell. (Eukaryote simply means “true nucleus’)

The Prokaryote cell, as you can see, has no nucleus, no nucleolis, and no nuclear membrane. It does have what the call a nucleoid or central area of the cell where the chromosomes are found. It also has a cell wall like a plant

Both cells have a cell membrane, and ribosomes.

The Eukaryote cell has the Well organized Nucleus with the nuclear membrane, and the nucleolis. The cell also contains endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria.

It has been suggested that the larger prokaryotes may have swallowed or somehow incorporated some of the smaller prokaryote cells. They may have lived symbiotically for a time. Now, we classify them as organelles of the Eukaryote cell including chloroplasts in plants and mitochondria.

You do NOT need to understand all of this to understand that it is far easier to understand all this information when you see it displayed in a diagram.

This electromagnetic spectrum includes the visible spectrum and more.Electromagnetic Spectrum

This diagram is not a picture of anything that exists, though it looks like it could be. It organizes a lot of information about the waves along what is called the electromagnetic spectrum. These waves, like waves in the water go up and down. Some are very short waves. Others are long.

I was familiar with the visible spectrum when I was quite young and found the Mneumonic method,  ROY G. BIV, a wonderful system for remembering “red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet, although I had no idea what color they meant by indigo. Even in this chart it is hard to tell indigo from violet.

But I was totally amazed when I discovered this amazing diagram. It was probably in high school physics.

First, it shows how the visible spectrum is a small part of a much larger system that includes all sorts of things that I didn’t think of as related. I would have expected infrared and ultra violet to be included. After all, they are color names. They are seen by other organisms. But infrared waves are too long for our eyes to pick up and ultraviolet waves are too short. But who would guess that x-rays and TV or Radio waves were all related to colors.

Second, I really liked the organizations starting with gamma-Rays  and then X-Rays with the very shortest waves (no wonder X-Rays could pass through our bodies). As you move along the scale, through visible colors, infrared (which is heat), to microwaves and then radio and TV waves, the waves get longer and longer. And the different lengths were astonishing.

If you study the lengths, they are in micrometers (i millionth of a meter). And they are arranged to go up in powers of ten: from 10 to the -6th power all the way to 10 to the 8th power.

If you understand these numbers or don’t care to understand them, then stay of this page.
If you’d really like to know what these numbers mean, go to     Meaning of these numbers

The other thing that is interesting about these waves is that, like ocean waves, the longer the wave the slower the frequency. The shorter the waves are, the higher their frequency. Gamma rays and x-Rays have very high frequency. Radio and TV waves are extremely long, up to 10 kilometers, and have a very low frequency.

Different kinds of numbers

Here is a simple diagram I drew. I first learned the main ideas in high school math. I don’t remember if a math teacher drew the diagram or if I drew it to remember what he said. I think I added the last categories. This is a simple diagram that doesn’t make any attempt to look like a picture.

Chart shows different kinds of numbersThe counting or whole numbers can be divided into odd and even numbers.

Another way to divide whole  numbers is into prime and composite numbers. Primes, like 3 or 7 can be evenly divided only by themselves and 1. Composites, like 6 can be divided into factors (6=3 x 2)

The Water Cycle

The water cycle includes evaporation and precipitation.

I include this diagram because it is different. It shows a cycle. In this case it is the water cycle.

You can find and use various diagrams to understand the material you are studying. You can also find ways to create new diagrams to help you picture, understand, and remember the material.


Leave a Reply