Exponential Growth/Decay Calculator



About Exponential Growth (Formula)

Exponential growth is a fundamental concept in mathematics and science that describes the rapid and continuous increase in the size or quantity of something over time, where the growth rate is proportional to the current value. It’s a phenomenon encountered in various natural and man-made systems, from population growth to the spread of infectious diseases to compound interest in finance. The formula for exponential growth is a mathematical expression that allows us to model and understand this phenomenon.

The general formula for exponential growth is expressed as:



  • �(�) is the quantity or value at time .
  • �0 is the initial quantity or value at time �=0.
  • is the base of the natural logarithm, approximately equal to 2.71828.
  • is the growth rate constant (also referred to as the relative growth rate or the rate of change).
  • is the time period over which the growth is being measured.

This formula illustrates that the quantity �(�) grows exponentially over time. The value of determines how fast the growth occurs. A positive indicates exponential growth, while a negative represents exponential decay.

Exponential growth is characterized by a few key features:

  1. Unbounded Growth: Exponential growth is theoretically unbounded. As time progresses, the quantity or value continuously increases without an upper limit.
  2. Proportional Growth: The growth rate () is constant and proportional to the current value of �(�). This means that as �(�) increases, the rate of growth also increases.
  3. Rapid Increase: Exponential growth can lead to a rapid increase in quantity or value, especially when is a relatively large positive number.
  4. Doubling Time: The time it takes for a quantity to double is related to the growth rate . Specifically, the doubling time (��) is calculated as ��=ln⁡(2)/�, where ln⁡ denotes the natural logarithm.

Exponential growth is a fundamental concept in fields such as biology, economics, physics, and environmental science. It is used to model phenomena like population growth, the spread of diseases, the appreciation of investments, and the decay of radioactive substances. Understanding exponential growth and its formula is crucial for predicting and managing various real-world processes, making it a cornerstone of scientific and mathematical knowledge.