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Growth and Decay

Arithmetic Growth And Decay, Geometric Growth And Decay

Growth and decay refers to a class of problems in mathematics that can be modeled or explained using increasing or decreasing sequences (also called series). A sequence is a series of numbers, or terms, in which each successive term is related to the one before it by precisely the same formula. There are many practical applications of sequences. One example is predicting the growth of human populations. Population growth or decline has an impact on numerous economic and environmental issues. When the population grows, so does the rate at which waste is produced, which in turn affects growth rate of land fill sites, nuclear waste dumps, and other sources of pollution. Various other growth rates also affect our lives. For instance the growth rates of our investments and savings accounts, affect our economic well-being. Understanding the mathematics of growth is very important. For example, predicting the rate at which renewable resources, including the forests, marine life, and wildlife, naturally replenish themselves, helps prevent excessive harvesting that can lead to population declines and even extinction.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Glucagon to Habitat