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### Benford's Law

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Date: 08/06/98 at 18:19:53
From: Elisabeth Edwards
Subject: Benford's Law

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Date: 08/13/98 at 13:50:23
From: Doctor Benway
Subject: Re: Benford's Law

Hi Elisabeth,

I found the following information about Benford's Law at this website:

http://mathworld.wolfram.com/BenfordsLaw.html

Benford's Law

"Also called the First Digit Law, First Digit Phenomenon, or Leading
Digit Phenomenon. In listings, tables of statistics, etc., the
Digit 1 tends to occur with Probability approximately 30%, much
greater than the expected 10%. This can be observed, for instance,
by examining tables of Logarithms and noting that the first pages
are much more worn and smudged than later pages. The table below,
taken from Benford (1938), shows the distribution of first digits
taken from several disparate sources. Of the 54 million real
constants in Plouffe's Inverse Symbolic Calculator database, 30%
begin with the Digit 1."

In other words when you have tables of numbers, the digit "1" occurs
more often than any of the other numbers do. The Web site also shows a
few examples of where this happens. If you're interested in learning

and Statistics):

Benford's Law
http://www.mathpages.com/home/kmath302/kmath302.htm

and Peter Wolfenden's page:

The Significant Digit Phenomenon, AKA Benford's Law
http://www.wolfendens.com/digit.html

- Doctor Benway, The Math Forum
Check out our web site! http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
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Associated Topics:
High School Statistics

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