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# 3.

## 5 Solving Exponential Equations using Logs, and Applications

Earlier we saw how some exponential equations can be solved by re-writing terms in the same base.
This method works great - when terms can be written in the same base:  2 5 4 !
50

1 Algebraically solve the following 2 Show that we cannot as easily solve the
equation, by re-writing in the same base. following equation using the same method
4 ! 2 5 4 ! 60
2 5 50

## Solving any Exponential Equation

Only some equations can be solved using the method we learned in 4.1, namely re-writing in the same base.
In order to solve any exponential equation we need a broader method – and that method involves logarithms.
(bet you saw that coming)

To solve any exponential equation (and not just those special cases where we can equate the bases),
we can either: solve: \$ 0 % ' */
Method 1: Method 2:
Convert to logarithmic form
Or, take the logarithm of both sides
4 !
2 5 60 First, isolate the
5 4 ! 30 Isolate power term
2 2 power term
5 4 ! 30 Convert to log form 4 !
VWX 5 VWX30 “log” both sides
STO 30 1 Isolate … and isolate % using the power log law

## STO 30 8 1 ~ 3.11 % ' STO5 STO30

Exact solution Approx. solution STO30 STO30
1 81
STO5 STO5
Use calculator for
approx. solutions  Exact solution 
(same as VWX0 / 8 ')

## Class Example 3.51 Solving an exponential equation using logarithms

Use an algebraic process to solve each of the following equations. State solutions correct to the nearest hundredth.
4 (b) 2 5 4 152
(a) 3 2 300

3.5 Solving Exponential Equations Using Logarithms, Applications

## Exponential Equations with

Worked Examples Algebraically solve: \$\$% 0
*%
variables on both sides

STO2 4 STO64
Sol.: Take the LOG of both sides
Use log law: STOf STOf 2 5 STO2 4 STO6
Distribute the STO2 and STO6 2 STO2 5STO2 STO6 4STO6
Arrange terms with % on one side, 2 STO2 STO6 4STO6 8 5STO2
non-% terms on other
Factor out the 2STO2 STO6 5STO2 4STO6
STO2 STO6 Note that we get the same result
Isolate , apply log law STOf STOf
STO2 STO6 from the non-simplified form:
STO 2 + 6
Combine to single logs
STO 2 + 6
VWX \$/('
Exact, simplified answer: % As we do with the simplified :
VWX \$/

## Class Example 3.52 Solving an exponential equation using logarithms

Use an algebraic process to solve each of the following equations. State solutions as both simplified exact and
approximate values.
(a) 24 5 4 ! (b) 2 6 4 3 4

## RTD Learning PowerMath

Chapter 3 – Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

## Applications of Exponential Equations

The world is replete with applications of exponential growth (or, when the values are decreasing over time,
decay). And success in this unit includes being able to set up (and solve) exponential equations based on real
world problems. Consider each of the following scenarios to provide a response for each. Answers are at the
bottom of the next page.
1 The amount of bacteria in colony is increasing in an exponential pattern. Initially
there are 100 bacteria present, and that amount is doubling every day.
(a) Determine the amount of bacteria (b) Construct an equation that models
that will be present after 4 days. the amount of bacteria present, &,
Warm-up #2 Show your calculations. after ; days.

2 The amount of bacteria in colony is rapidly increasing in an exponential pattern. Initially there are 100
bacteria present, and that amount is doubling every two hours.
(a) Determine the amount of bacteria that will be (b) Construct an equation that models the amount
present after 6 hours. Show your calculations. of bacteria present, &, after ; hours.

3 The amount of bacteria in colony is rapidly increasing in an exponential pattern. Initially there are 1000
bacteria present. The amount is increasing by 15% per hour.
(a) Determine the amount of bacteria that will be (b) Construct an equation that models the amount
present after 3 hours. Show your calculations. of bacteria present, &, after ; hours.

## For modelling exponential growth ;

& < ? @
(or decay) applications, we can use:
Where some initial amount < grows to & after some amount of time ;.
And ? is the multiplication factor of growth, which is applied every @ units of time.
;
& < ? @ Type 1 – Values are doubling Type 2 – Values are increasing (or
(or tripling, or “half-ing”, etc) decreasing) by some percentage
Initial Period in which
amount ? is applied ? is the factor of growth (or decay). ? here ? 1 + growth rate* (as a decimal)
Values are doubling, ? \$ Tripling, ? *if decreasing, growth rate is negative
growth factor Half-life problems, ? '⁄\$. (and so on)
*if = 1  growth @ for these “percentage growth” type
@ is the period of time which the growth occurs. problems is often (but not always) 1, such
0 > > 1  decay
example) In #9 above A 3, for #10, A 0.5 as #8 above - decrease 12% per “1” year

3.5 Solving Exponential Equations Using Logarithms, Applications

## Class Example 3.53 Setting up exponential growth equations

;
For each of the scenarios below, construct an equation that models the & < ? @
amount of some quantity (Q) after “€” units of time.
Initial Period in which ? is applied
amount mult. growth factor

1. 100 bacteria are present in a culture, which is doubling in size every day.

1b. Use your equation to determine the amount of bacteria after 5 days.

2. 100 bacteria are present in a culture, which is tripling in size every day.

## 3. 100 bacteria are present in a culture, which is doubling in size every

three days.

4. 100 bacteria are present in a culture that is decreasing in size. The half-life
for the amount bacteria is 5 days.

5. 150 bacteria are present in a culture. Every four days, 75% of the
bacteria remain.

## 6. A \$1000 investment is made, that will earn 4% interest per year.

6b. Use your equation to determine the amount of money after 5 years.

## 7. The population of a country is 25 million and is forecast to grow by

1.4% per year.

8. A \$40 000 new car will depreciate in value by 12% per year.

three years.

## 10. A \$1000 investment is made, earns 5% annual interest, compounded

semi-annually. Determine an equation that models the value after •
years. Note: Semi-annually means “twice per year”, or once every half-year

Chapter 3 – Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

The population Stonewall, Manitoba, is 4800. Provincial forecasts predict that the
Worked Example population will increase by 2.1% per year. According to this model, determine how long it
will take, correct to the nearest tenth of a year, for the population to reach 6000.

## Solution: ; @ is 1, as growth rate •

& < ? @ is 2.1% per (one) year 6000 4800 1.021 ! Input all values

& is \$6000 1.25 1.021 isolate the power term
? is ' 8 /. /\$'
(“end” amount)
2.1% as a decimal STO!. ! 1.25 • to solve, convert to log form
< is \$4800
(initial amount) (+) since pop is increasing
; ~ '/. 7 yrs
And note: “t” is what we ant to solve for!

Like all equations, exponential growth equations, this can also be solved on your graphing
calculator:
%
*/// (// '. /\$' There are a few ways we can do this!
Method 1 Method 2
6000 4800 1.021 4 Find the 4800 1.021 4 6000  first set equation to “0”
! !
INTERSECT
Find the ZERO (or, graph 0 and find the INTERSECT)

## When you see first curve > key ENTER

Second curve > key ENTER “Guess” – you guessed it, key ENTER
Left Bound Right Bound
key ENTER on key ENTER on right, then
Regarding the WINDOW… left side of zero key again for “guess”
% represents time. We typically don’t go
backwards (yet), so %-min can often be 0.
%-max is trickier and could involve some trial and error. We need to be able to see the point of
intersect (or x-intercept) within our window. So often the -max must be made larger.
& represents the quantity that’s increasing (or, when 0 > > 1, decreasing). For most problems the
quantity cannot be negative (for example, population), so &-min is usually 0.
For &-max, think of where the quantity will be at the -max. If = 0 (increasing), ensure the -max is
large enough to include any given “end amounts”. Here the end amount was \$6000, so y-max is 7000 to
include it. If 0 > > 1 (quantity is decreasing), then the -max can be just beyond the initial amount.

## Class Example 3.54 Modeling exponential growth problems

A particular strong investment fund promises investors an annual return of 12%. Assuming this growth rate is
obtained, determine how long it would take for a \$10 000 investment to grow to \$25 000, correct to the nearest
tenth of a year.

3.5 Solving Exponential Equations Using Logarithms, Applications

## A Closer Look at Half-Life

Percentage of carbon-14 remaining over time
Have you ever heard of carbon-dating? Scientists use
this method to determine the age of materials that
originated from living (carbon-based) organisms.
Carbon-14 is a radioactive isotope present in all organic
materials. It has a half-life of 5730 years, which means
every 5730 years, the amount present is cut in half.
The graph on the right shows the percentage of
carbon-14 present over time. Notice that after 5700
years (rounded), the amount is 50% (half). Then after
11400 years, it’s half of that, or 25%. (and so-on)
A function that models the percentage of carbon-14
present as a function of time in years is: Time in years

1 5 Notice that in • 5730 years, the exponent will be “1”, so the
‚ 100 initial percentage (100) will be multiplied by ½ once.
2
And in • 11 460 years, the exponent will be “2”, so the initial
percentage (100) will be multiplied by ½ twice. (It will be 1/4th)

5 mg of a radioactive substance is slowly decaying, such that its half-life is 211 years.
Worked Example
Determine how long it would take for the amount of the substance to decay to 1 mg.
;
; @ is 211, amount of time
1 !!
& < ? @ it takes for quantity to be 1 O 5 O Input all values
Solution: 2
mult. by ½ (the half-life)
& is 1mg ;
? is '/\$ 1 1 !!
(“end”
(every 211 yrs, multiply amount by ½)
amount) < is 5mg 5 2
(initial amount) •
STO!/ 1/5 isolate the power term
And note: For “doubling period / half-life” problems, we 211
often need to decide: • 211STO!/ 1/5 to solve, convert to log form
Are we GIVEN “p”, or do we WANT “p”? Here – we are
given “p”, that is given the half-life. ; ~ )/ yrs

## Class Example 3.55 Application of Half-life

A gallbladder scan involved the injection of 0.65 cc’s of Technetium-99m, a radioactive isotope. After 10 hours
there was 0.20 cc’s measured in the body.
(a) Determine the half-life of Technetium-99m. (b) Determine the rate of loss per hour of the
Correct to the nearest tenth substance. Correct to the nearest tenth of a percent.

Chapter 3 – Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

## Class Example 3.56 Modelling exponential growth – equation forms

On January 1st, 1998, the population of Ufa, Russia, was 941 500. By January 1st, 2020, the population had gown
to 1 136 000. Assuming the rate of growth for the population remains constant,
(a) Determine how long it would take for the population (b) Determine the average annual growth rate
of Ufa to double, correct to the nearest year. for Ufa, correct to the nearest hundredth of
a percent.

## Class Example 3.57 Exponential decay

In a particular body of water, the intensity of light decreases by 15% every 3 metres of depth. Assuming that at
the surface the light intensity is at 100%, determine:
(a) The percentage, correct the nearest whole number, (b) The depth at which the light intensity would
of light that would be present at a depth of 10 m, be just 10% of that on the surface, correct to
correct to the nearest whole number. the nearest whole number.

## While being able to provide algebraic solutions

is essential - these problems can also be solved
Note that we must adjust the window!
For example in 4.56 (a) we must The -min and -min should again be 0,
solve: ' ' * /// ) ' 0// \$ \$\$/%
while the -max must be large enough
to show the point of intersect.
Graph &\$ =left side &' =right side
The -max must be in the millions as
… and find the point of intersect represents the population. Solution is the -coord. of the
pt. of intersection.

3.5 Solving Exponential Equations Using Logarithms, Applications

Compound Interest
With investment problems interest is typically applied once per year, as interest rates are always
“per year”. However annual interest rates can be compounded over any period, such as semi-
annually (twice per year), quarterly (four times per year), or monthly.
For example – consider a \$1000 investment earning 5% annual interest. How much would it grow
to after 4 years, if interest is compounded:

##  Annually:  Semi-Annually: Compounded 2

 Daily: 365 4
# times per yr for !
n 1000 1 8 0.05 0.05 4 years 0.05
n 1000 1 8 n 1000 1 8
2 365
\$'\$'0. 0' Interest rate is annual,
Interest rate
\$'\$'(. / so divide by # of \$'\$\$'. )
compounds per yr. divided by 365
compounds /yr.
It’s not an earth-shattering difference, but with more compounding periods per year comes faster growth!

## Class Example 3.58 Compound Interest

Jeremiah invests \$10 000 into a GIC (a guaranteed investment certificate) that earns 5.8% interest compounded
quarterly. (4 times per year)
(a) Assuming he makes no additional deposits or
withdrawals, predict the value of the investment
in 15 years. Round to the nearest whole dollar.

## (b) Determine how long it would take for the

investment to double. Round to the nearest year.

## (c) Construct an alternative function that models the value of

the investment after • years, using the doubling period
found in (b). Show that this new function is equivalent by
determining the value in 15 years, as in (a).

3.5 Practice Questions

1. Use an algebraic approach to solve each of the following equations. Provide your answers as both exact
values, and as decimal approximations correct to the nearest hundredth. Verify your answers graphically
4
(a) 5 4 11 75 (b) 6 30

4
1
(c) 3 30 (d) 24 154
5

4 54 4 4 !
(e) 7 2 (f) 3 7 8

3.5 Solving Exponential Equations Using Logarithms, Applications

2. A sports car purchased new for \$74 000 depreciates at an approximate rate of 15% per year. An equation
that can be used to find the amount of time it would take for the value to fall to \$40 000 is:
40 000 74 000 • ; where is the amount the value of the car would be multiplied each
year to obtain the new value. (That is, 1 rate of decrease)
Substitute a value for to algebraically determine the number of years it would take for the value of the car
to fall to \$40 000, correct to the nearest tenth of a year. Verify graphically using your graphing calculator.

3. The population of a bacteria culture, given favorable growth conditions, will double every 4.5 hours. An
equation that can be used to determine for a population of 100 bacteria to reach 10 000 is given by:

e ˆ • ‰ ‰•‰ S • . ; where the bacteria population is multiplied by every 4.5 hours.

Fill out the necessary equation values to algebraically determine how long it would take for the bacteria
population to reach 10 000, correct to the nearest whole hour. Verify your answer graphically.

4. Over the past century the doubling period for the world’s population has been approximately 40 years. In
April 2019, the approximate world population was 7.7 billion people.
(a) Assuming that this doubling period remains constant, set up an equation to algebraically determine
how long it would take for the world population to reach 10 billion people, correct to the nearest
tenth of a year.

(b) Use an algebraic process to determine the world population average annual growth rate, correct to the
nearest tenth of a percentage.

## Practice Questions answers from previous page

! {|}# {|}
1. (a) STO 86, or, equivalently, … % ~ /. )\$ (b) 3STO 30, or, equivalently, … %~ 0. *)
{|}! {|}
! {|} {|} {|} #
(c) 2 STOe 10 , or, equivalently,
{|}!
… % ~ '. ' (d) , simplifies to, … % ~ '. /
„ {|} {|}! {|} ! ⁄
{|}!5 {|}!!5
(e) „ … % ~ 0. * (f) …` … % ~ . ')
{|} {|}
F †

Chapter 3 – Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

5. The S&P 500 is a stock market index that measures the stock performance of 500 large companies listed on
stock exchanges in the United States. Over the last 25 years the S&P 500 has grown at an average annual
rate of 7.5%. On January 1st, 2020, the S&P 500 was measured 3230.78.
(a) Assuming the S&P 500 continues to grow at the same rate, set up an equation to algebraically
determine the year during which the index will reach 5000.

(b) Algebraically determine how long it would take for the index to double in value, correct to the nearest
tenth of a year.

## (c) Construct two separate equations in the form •/Š

, that model the predicted measure of the
S&P 500, &, as a function in time in years after January 1st, 2020, ;. For your first equation, use A 1
and the information provided in the question. For your second equation, use 2 along with your
result from part (b).

(d) Show that both equations developed in part (c) are equivalent, by using each to predict the value of the
S&P 500 on January 1st, 2030, correct to the nearest hundred.

## Practice Questions answers from previous page

2. Solve: 40 000 74 000 0.85 •  . ( years 3. Solve: 10 000 100 2 •/ .
 / hours
4. (a) Solve: 10 7.7 2 •/  '0. ' years (b) Solve: 15.4 7.7  ~ 1.017478  '. 7% / yr

3.5 Solving Exponential Equations Using Logarithms, Applications

6. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure that examines the weighted average of prices of a basket of
consumed goods and services, such as transportation, food, and medical care. Changes in the CPI are used
to assess price changes associated with the cost of living.
In March 2010, the Canadian CPI was 115.6, and in March 2019 it was 135.4.
(a) Determine the average annual rate of change of the CPI between 2010 and 2019, expressed to the
nearest tenth of a percentage.

(b) Algebraically determine how long it would take for the index to double in value, correct to the nearest
tenth of a year.

(c) Construct two separate equations that model the predicted value of the CPI as a function in time in
years after March 2019. For the first equation, use your result from (a) to determine a value of
between 0 and 1, and for your second use your result from (b) to construct a doubling period equation.
Use each equation to predict the value of the CPI in March 2029.

7. Iodine-131 is a radioactive nuclide with important application in medical science. A sample contains 30.00
mg of Iodine-131, and two days later 23.15 mg remain. Set up and algebraically solve an equation to
determine the half-life of Iodine-131, correct to the nearest hundredth.

8. Phosphorus-32 is another radioactive nuclide used in medical science; its half-life is 14.26 days. Set up and
algebraically solve an equation to determine how long it would take for 200 mg of phosphorus-32 to decay to
120 mg, correct to the nearest tenth of a day.

## Practice Questions answers from previous page

5. (a) Solve: 5000 3230.78 1.075 •  The year 2026 (b) Solve: 6461.56 3230.78 1.075 •
 9.6 years
3230.78 1.075 • 3230.78 2 •/6. (d) Subst. •
(c) and 10 into both – both give approx. 6700

Chapter 3 – Exponential and Logarithmic Functions

9. A parent wishes to save \$20 000 for an education fund, to be used in 15 years. She plans to invest in a GIC
earning 6% /a (per annum, or “per year), compounded semi-annually. Determine the amount she should
invest today, to the nearest whole dollar, so that it will grow to \$20 000 in 15 years.

10. Ray borrowed \$20 000 for the construction of a new garage. Interest was charged at 5% / a, compounded
monthly. The loan was paid off in one payment of \$24 417.91, at the end of the loan period.
Determine the length of the loan period, in years.

11. Ron has \$2500 to invest, with the goal of doubling it in 6 years. Determine the interest rate, correct to the
nearest tenth of a percentage, that he must obtain to reach that goal, if interest is compounded quarterly.

12. Abdel is considering two different investment funds in which to invest \$10 000. To help make his decision,
he is considering the performance of each fund over the past ten years.
Fund A has grown at an average rate of 7.4% / a over that period.
Fund B has exactly doubled in value over the past ten years.
Determine the fund that Abdel should choose, making the natural assumption that he wishes to earn the

6. (a) Solve: 135.4 115.6 6  1.8% (b) Solve: 135.4 115.6 2 6/Š  39.5 yrs
(c) 135.4 1.0177 • and 135.4 2 •/ 6. equations give 162.9 and 161.4 respectively variance is due to rounding
the and A values
/Š  5.35 8. Solve: 14.26 •/! .
7. Solve: 23.15 30 1/2 days 200 1/2  10.5 days

3.5 Solving Exponential Equations Using Logarithms, Applications
% \$ \$%
13. NR The exact value of the solution to the equation \$ * can be written in the form:
STOf
 Exam
Style STO 3⁄2
; where f ∈ ℕ The value of f is _____.

14. In 1994 the average price of a particular product was \$7.22. By 2020 the price was \$16.38.
(a) Determine the average annual rate of growth for the price of this product, correct to the nearest tenth
of a percentage.

(b) Determine the doubling period for the price of this product, correct to the nearest whole number of years.

(c) Construct two separate equations that model the future price of the product, ‚, as a function in time in
years after 2020, •. The first equation should use 1 8 growth rate while the second should use 2.

(d) Use each equation to predict the price of the product in the year 2035, correct to the nearest hundredth of
a dollar. (cent)

e
. •/ eF
9. Solve: 20 000 1 8 0.03  \$8240 10. Solve: 24417.91 20000 1 8  4 yrs
!

11. Solve: 5000 2500 1 8  11.7%

12. One possible method – find how long it would take Fund A to double…. solve: 2 1 1.074 •  9.7 yrs
Since this is a shorter period than the 10 years for fund B …. FUND A is the way to go!

13. 1944 14. (a) Solve: 16.38 7.22  3.2% / yr (b) Solve: 16.38 7.22 2  22 yrs
• •/
(c) ‚ 16.38 1.032 or ‚ 16.38 2 (d) Both give approx. \$26.27