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A Penny Surprise

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Author:Ivars Peterson (MathTrek)
Description: Flipping a coin in the air, catching it, then determining whether it has come up heads or tails is to many people a prototypical random process. In some sense, however, coin tossing isn't really random at all. A mechanical gadget can flip a properly positioned coin so that the coin always lands showing the same face. The efficacy of such a device depends on the fact that a tossed coin obeys Newton's laws of motion...

Levels: Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12), College
Languages: English
Resource Types: Articles
Math Topics: Probability, Physics

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