The rate of sedimentation of a particle in a sucrose solution depends on the viscosity and density of the medium. These two variables are related to the sucrose concentration and the temperature of the medium by new simple equations. These equations were used in a rapid iterative procedure that relates the distance moved by a zone in a continuous sucrose gradient to its sedimentation coefficient. It is shown by comparison with experiment that this iterative method allows the distance moved by a zone to be calculated rapidly. The method may therefore be used to optimize the separation of particles in a sucrose-gradient-centrifugation experiment. The method also allows the unknown sedimentation coefficients of several zones to be measured from a single sucrose-gradient-centrifugation experiment.