But because the two isotopes are decaying, or decreasing over time, both growth rate constants are negative – a different process than reproduction.We are often advised to refrigerate foods after opening them.While other factors may reduce the growth rate, that equation would describe the upper limit.

This would be the value of the interest paid on your investment if you had a 100% interest rate and if it were paid out constantly, an infinite number of times per year.

The value of this limit is the number that we call assumes that all of that doubling occurs right at the time step, rather than gradually.

In science, the constant for a specific material, process, or environmental condition.

For example, most bacteria split more rapidly at room temperature than at near freezing, so the same bacteria will have a different growth rate constant even though they both decay radioactively because they are different materials.

Perhaps you've heard the expression “multiplying like rabbits,” implying a very rapid increase.

There is truth behind this expression: Starting at an age of six months, female rabbits can have a litter of up to 14 baby rabbits every month.

There is also a limit to how quickly that population can grow.

A single bacterium can only split into two, not into four or five.

However, when dealing with natural systems that have variability and are continuously changing, the exponential equation takes a particular form that is common in science.