Lab Topic 1-Principles of Probability Colin Smith and Layane Hajjar I. Introduction The laws of probability can be used to predict the likelihood of chance events, where there is a limited number of outcomes. The coin toss is a simple example. When a coin is tossed into the air and allowed to come to rest, it may land showing either face, but the complexity of the toss makes it impossible to control or predict how it will land. For every toss, one of two faces will show: the obverse "heads" (H), or the reverse "tails" (T). The expectation is that for each toss, the two outcomes have equal probability, and that with sufficient tosses the observations will approach a limit of 0.5 H and 0.5 T. Similarly, when a cubic die is rolled, there is a 1/6 chance of arriving at any one of the six numbers marked on the different faces of the die. Statistical tests examine whether the difference between observations and expectations are likely due to chance, where the expectations derive from probability calculations of a
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