A model of the exponential growth phase of E. coli growth.
The amount of E. coli in each successive period depends on the amount in the previous period. We use this link to tell [growing] how many are there now.
E. coli has a "lag" period of about eight hours before it begins dividing. We introduce a step function so that there will be no dividing (growth) for the first eight hours.
E. coli divides once about every 20 minutes. Each divide doubles the number of cells. Yes, it multiplies by dividing, which is what makes math so confusing at times!
The E. coli growth simulation begins with one viable cell. The exponential growth model assumes no limits for the moment.
Click the button to see the growth chart.
It looks harmless right up until the 50-hour mark; except that the y-axis is in scientific notation!