The Math Forum

Search All of the Math Forum:

Views expressed in these public forums are not endorsed by NCTM or The Math Forum.

Math Forum » Discussions » sci.math.* » sci.stat.math

Notice: We are no longer accepting new posts, but the forums will continue to be readable.

Topic: Coin Flipping Question ?
Replies: 8   Last Post: Nov 8, 2016 9:36 PM

Advanced Search

Back to Topic List Back to Topic List Jump to Tree View Jump to Tree View   Messages: [ Previous | Next ]
Richard Ulrich

Posts: 2,961
Registered: 12/13/04
Re: Coin Flipping Question ?
Posted: Nov 8, 2016 11:43 AM
  Click to see the message monospaced in plain text Plain Text   Click to reply to this topic Reply

On Tue, 8 Nov 2016 09:45:08 -0500, Bob <rgsros@notme.invalid> wrote:

>Have always been bothered by this.
>Would appreciate it if someone could explain it for me.
>I know that what I am defining as the experiment is not practical in the
>"real world," but let me define the following anyway, as the conditions:
>I have a few thousand "discs"
>They are absolutely identical, down to the atomic level.
>Each side has a thin coating of something; one side red, one side blue.
>The coatings are also identical; same thickness, absorbency, etc.
>So the resultant coins are absolutely identical.
>In every way.
>I now have a mechanical gadget that flips each one, again identically.
>Same velocity, momentum, etc., etc. imparted.
>Absolutely identical flipping motion imparted for each one.
>There are no outside influences, other than gravity.
>No air currents, solar wind or pressure, etc.
>Will I see the typical 50 % - 50 % split ?
>(For this case by colors,rather than heads/tails)
>Why ?

I assume that they would all /fall/ exactly the same, so the
only uncontrolled factor would be which side started out "up".
Is that 50-50?

I used to be able to flip a quarter and get 15 heads in a row,
based on "identical motions". That was back when I had the
nervous habit of flipping a coin and flipped one at least dozens
of times a day.

>e.g., must there be "some" incremental outside influence, or...?

Rich Ulrich

Point your RSS reader here for a feed of the latest messages in this topic.

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

© The Math Forum at NCTM 1994-2018. All Rights Reserved.