Can I get some help with an estimation of a cell count in a culture of E.coli cells if we assume we begin with $10^6$ cells, that they divide every 30 minutes and they are incubated for 12 hours?

I do not know how to do the calculation with a start number that is not 2, if it was it would just be $2^{24}$. But how is it done when the starting number of cells is $10^6$?

Is it $(10^6)^{24}$?

Thank you!


1 Answer 1


You start with $10^6$ cells. After 30 min they double, so there are $2⋅10^6$ cells. After another 30 minutes they double again, so there are $2⋅2⋅10^6$ or $2^2⋅10^6$ cells. After three doubling periods, the number of cells is $2^3⋅10^6$. Doing this, the equation for exponential growth should become evident. All you must do now is determine the number of doubling periods in 12 hours.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .