4 - EXPONENTIAL AND LOGARITHMIC FUNCTIONS
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Abstract:

Publisher SummaryThis chapter focuses on the exponential and logarithmic functions. Exponential functions are useful in chemistry, biology, economics, mathematics, and engineering. The chapter describes the applications of exponential functions in calculating such quantities as compound interest and the growth rate of bacteria in a culture medium. Exponential functions occur in a wide variety of applied problems. The chapter reviews some problems dealing with population growth: predicting the growth of bacteria in a culture medium; radioactive decay, such as determining the half-life of strontium 90; and the interest earned when an interest rate is compounded. Logarithms can be viewed as another way of writing exponents. Logarithms have been used to simplify calculations; the slide rule, a device long used by engineers, is based on logarithmic scales. In today's world of inexpensive hand calculators, the need for manipulating logarithms is reduced.

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