exponential

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

**Exponential** \Ex'po*nen"tial\, adjective [Cf. F. exponentiel.]

1. Pertaining to exponents; involving variable exponents; as,
an **exponential** expression; **exponential** calculus; an
**exponential** function.

2. changing over time in an **exponential** manner, i. e.
increasing or decreasing by a fixed ratio for each unit of
time; as, **exponential** growth; **exponential** decay.
[PJC]

Note:

{**Exponential** growth} is characteristic of bacteria and other
living populations in circumstances where the conditions
of growth are favorable, and all required nutrients are
plentiful. For example, the bacterium {Escherichia coli}
in rich media may double in number every 20 minutes until
one of the nutrients becomes exhausted or waste products
begin to inhibit growth. Many fascinating thought
experiments are proposed on the theme of **exponential**
growth. One may calculate, for example how long it would
take the progeny of one {Escherichia coli} to equal the
mass of the known universe if it multiplied unimpeded at
such a rate. The answer, assuming the equivalent of
10^{80} hydrogen atoms in the universe, is less than three
days. **Exponential** increases in a quantity can be
surprising, and this principle is often used by banks to
make investment at a certain rate of interest seem to be
very profitable over time.

{**Exponential** decay} is exhibited by decay of radioactive
materials and some chemical reactions (first order
reactions), in which one-half of the initial quantity of
radioactive element (or chemical substance) is lost for
each lapse of a characteristic time called the
{half-life}.
[PJC]

{**Exponential** curve}, a curve whose nature is defined by means
of an **exponential** equation.

{**Exponential** equation}, an equation which contains an
**exponential** quantity, or in which the unknown quantity
enters as an exponent.

{**Exponential** quantity} (Math.), a quantity whose exponent is
unknown or variable, as a^{x}.

{**Exponential** series}, a series derived from the development
of **exponential** equations or quantities.

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:

adjective

1: of or involving exponents; "**exponential** growth"

noun

1: a function in which an independent variable appears as an
exponent [syn: {**exponential**}, {**exponential** function}]

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