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PropertiesofExponents(DecayandGrowth)

ContentSkill:
Oneskillthathasstuckwithmethroughoutthissemesterisexponentialgrowthand
decay.AftercompletingmanyexplorationsandPOWs5+6myunderstandingofexponents
solidified.Oneexampleofthiscomprehensionismyspreadsheetworkshop:InterestEarning
Calculator.

Thiscalculator,wheninsertedwithvaluesunderthevariablestab,canshowushowthe
valueofanobjectincreasesovertime.Exponentialdecayandgrowthisaveryrealworld
conceptandisseeneachdaythroughthegrowthofbacteria,ortheairleakingfromabiketire.
Theseexamplesareexponentialbecausetheyincreaseordecreaseatarateofchangethatis
dependentonpreviousvaluesacrossthegraph,whereasinlinearequations,therateofchangeis
constant.Exponentialdecayandgrowtharedeterminedusingtheequation: y = a * bx .In
exponentialgrowth a > 0 but b < 1 .When a > 0 and b 1, b 0 ,decayhappens.
IhavemasteredthisskillasseeninPOW6:

Step

Explanation

WillEugenebebetteroffifhesellstheobject KeepsStatue
StatueValueNow=$75,000
now,orayearfromnow?
StatueValueinaYear=$80,000(+$5,000)

SellsStatue
InitialInvestment=$75,000
TotalinaYear=$78,750(5%interest)
ItisbetterforEugenetoKeepthestatuefora
yearthentosellitnowtomakemoreprofit.

WoulditbebetterforEugenetosellthe
objectnow,orintwentyyears?

KeepsStatue
StatuePriceNow=$75,000
StatuePricein20Years=$175,000
(5,000*20)
SellsStatue
InitialInvestment=$75,000
Totalin20years=$198,997(5%interest
*20)
Itisbettertosellthestatuenowandinvest20
yearstothebankthenkeepitfor20yearsand
thensellit.

InhowmanyyearsshouldEugenesellthe
objecttomaximizeitsworth?

IthinkthatEugeneshouldselltheobjectat9
years($120,000)tomaximizeitsworth.
AfterInvestingthe120,000intothebankit
willearn5%interestandinoneyearyouwill
haveearned$6,000.

Here,Iamapplyvaluestomakethemaximumprofitforastatue.
Eugenehasastatueworth$75,000,whichisexpectedtoincreaseinvalueby$5,000peryear.
Furthermore,Eugeneanticipatesthatmoneyinvestedtodaywillearn5%interestannuallyforthe
foreseeablefuture.
a. WillEugenebebetteroffifhesellstheobjectnow,orayearfromnow?
b. WoulditbebetterforEugenetoselltheobjectnow,orintwentyyears?
c. InhowmanyyearsshouldEugeneselltheobjecttomaximizeitsworth?
ThisPOWhadmeusingexponentialgrowthtopredictwhatEugenesmostprofitableoptionwas
forthedifferentgrowthrates.TheequationsIusedtoevaluatePOW6is:
growth: y = a(1 + r)x ,decay y = a(1 r)x
a
=initial
amount
beforemeasuringgrowth/decay
r
=growth/decay
rate
(oftenapercent)
x
=numberof
time
intervalsthathavepassed

HabitsofaMathematician:
ThehabitIfoundmostrelevanttomyunderstandingtoexponentialgrowthanddecayis
connectingabstractideastorealworldexamples.Thisskillisimportantbecauseitmeansthat
whatIamlearninginmathclassishelpingmegaininsightsintomylifeoutsideofschooland
thatIamlearningtogrow,notjustlearningtogetgoodmarks.Thisskillisdemonstratedinmy
lifewhenImakeadeposit,oramchoosingabankandwantanannualorcompoundedinterest,
myknowledgeaboutexponentialgrowthwilldeterminethebestchoiceforme.InPOW5,Ihad
todeterminethelifeofC4,andhowitdecreased.Theequationforlifedecreasesis
y = a(1 .50)x ,where
a
=theinitialamountbeforethedecaybegins,
r
=decayrate(.50because
it'stheHALFlife),
x
=thenumberofintervals.Thisisanotherrealworldexample.
HereismyPOW5:

Sources:

http://www.regentsprep.org/regents/math/algebra/ae7/expdecayl.htm