To get to school eachmorning, imagine you aredriven along Smith Streetand pass through anintersection controlled bytrafﬁc lights. The trafﬁc lightfor this direction has a cycleof green and amber for atotal of 40 seconds, then redfor 20 seconds. What is thechance that the trafﬁc lightwill be red as you approachthe intersection? What is thechance that the trafﬁc lightwill be red every morningfor a school week?In this chapter, we lookat both experimental andtheoretical probabilitiesand how we can use these toestimate or forecast howoften something may occurin the long run.

13

Probability

618

M a t h s Q u e s t 8 f o r V i c t o r i a

areyou

Are you ready?

Try the questions below. If you have difﬁculty with any of them, extra help can beobtained by completing the matchingSkillSHEET. Either click on theSkillSHEETicon
next to the question on the

Maths Quest 8

CD-ROM or ask your teacher for a copy.

Understanding chance words

1

For each of the following events, specify whether the chance of the event occurring is certain,ﬁfty–ﬁfty or impossible.

a

Two dice are rolled and a total of 14 is obtained.

b

A coin is tossed and it lands on Tails.

c

The month of July will follow June.

d

The maximum temperature on a summer’s day in Melbourne will be less than 0°C.

e

A fair die is rolled and a number less than 4 is obtained.

Understanding a deck of playing cards

2

For a standard deck of 52 playing cards, state the number of:

a

red cards

b

jacks

c

black queens

d

kings of diamonds

e

eights

f

number of cards with face value greater than 7.

Simplifying fractions

3

Simplify each of the following fractions.

a b c d

Converting a fraction into a decimal

4

Convert the following fractions into decimals.

a b c d

Converting a fraction into a percentage

5

Convert the following fractions into percentages.

a b c d

Multiplying a fraction by a whole number

6

Calculate each of the following.

a

×

20

b

×

99

c

×

35

d

×

96

Listing the sample space

7

List the sample space (possible outcomes) for each of the following.

a

Rolling a die

b

Tossing a coin

c

Spinning a circular spinner numbered from 1 to 5

Multiplying proper fractions

8

Calculate each of the following.

a

×

b

×

c

×

d

×

13.113.1

13.1

13.213.4

48---1215------36100---------520------

13.5

15---34---310------1720------

13.6

14---35---710------720------

13.7

45---811------310------16---

13.813.10

47---38---13---89---58---715------613------49---

C h a p t e r 1 3 P r o b a b i l i t y

619

Probability scale

We mentally calculate

probability

all the time as we make decisions as trivial aswhether to buy sweets or not and important decisions about health, safety, friendshipsand careers.

Probability

is deﬁned as the

chance

of an event occurring. The concept of probabilitywas ﬁrst developed when a gambler inquired about the chance of a particular outcomeoccurring in a dice game. Today, it is used extensively in areas such as business, sports,determining insurance premiums and marketing, predicting future trends or the likeli-hood of inheriting a genetic disease.Each day we estimate the probability of something occurring. We make

forecasts

oreducated guesses to try to predict outcomes. Mathematicians assign a value from 0 to 1(inclusive) to the probability of an event occurring as shown by the followingprobability scale.A probability of 0 implies that the chance of an event occurring is

impossible

; that is,there is no chance it will happen. A probability of 1 implies that the chance of an eventoccurring is

certain

; that is, there is every chance it will happen. Probabilities may bewritten as fractions, decimals or percentages.

ImpossibleHighlyunlikelyVeryunlikelyUnlikelyVerylikelyCertainHighlylikelyLess thaneven chanceEvenchanceBetter thaneven chanceLikely0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.550%0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 10% 100%