A new technique is proposed for computing the active state of striated muscle, based on the three component model of Fenn and Marsh (8) and of Hill (7). The method permits calculation of the time course of the active state from its peak to the time at which maximum isometric twitch tension is reached. The intormation required for the calculation can be obtained from a single muscle without moving it from its mount in the lever system. The time course of the active state proved to be a function of the length of the muscle. This length dependency led to the predictions that (a) the length at which maximum force is developed during tetanic stimulation is different from that at which it is developed during a twitch, and (b) the tetanus-twitch tension ratio is a function of length. Both predictions were verified in a series of experiments on the rat gracilis anticus muscle at 17.5°C.

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