Exponential growth follows an exponential law; the simple-exponential growth model is known as the Malthusian growth model. Exponential growth models of physical phenomena generally apply within limited regions, as unbounded growth is not physically realistic. Where a population has a constant birth rate through time and is never limited by food or disease, it has what is known as exponential growth.

With exponential growth the birth rate alone controls how fast or slow the population grows. Exponential growth occurs when some quantity regularly increases by a fixed percentage. Examples of exponential growth include bank accounts on which fixed interest is accumulating, human populations unhindered by predation or environmental problems, and contagious diseases for which no immunization is available.

Any quantity that grows or decays by a fixed percent at regular intervals is said to possess exponential growth or exponential decay.

One of the most common examples of exponential growth deals with bacteria. Bacteria can multiply at an alarming rate when each bacteria splits into two new cells, thus doubling.

Exponential growth is common in physical processes such as population growth in the absence of predators or resource restrictions. Exponential growth also occurs as the limit of discrete processes such a compound interest.

Exponential growth or exponential decay, also called geometric growth or geometric decay in the case of a discrete domain of definition with equal intervals, occurs when the growth rate of a mathematical function is proportional to the function's current value.

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