SUMMARY: organisms growing exponentially have a stable length distribution. This length distribution can be analysed by the method described to give the mean rate of increase in length of organisms at any given length. The validity of the method was confirmed by observing the growth of clones of in the culture chamber. Both methods showed that the rate of increase in length increased as the organisms got longer, and that there was no hesitation before or after division. Possible applications of this general method to other parameters that can be measured in samples of bacteria taken from stable populations are suggested.


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