A Learning Cycle on Exponential Growth and the Energy Crises

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For the past several years Professor A. A. Bartlett has been pointing out the conflict between exponential growth and a finite environment.1 Recently, he has not been alone, as was indicated by the attendance and participation in the Speaker's Workshop: Exponential Growth a la Bartlett held at the Summer, 1980 AAPT meeting at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.

This note is prompted by two things. At the workshop, the question was asked: How can a speaker convince his audience of the mind-boggling growth which occurs? Those of us who have faced the same problem in the classroom have a hard time finding activities which help the students experience exponential change. There is a way to deal with both of these problems.