You are on page 1of 6

GITIMH3 94107 Probability Page 1

Introduction
Notation:
 If a random experiment can result in N(S) equally likely outcomes, and if N(E) of
these are favourable to the occurrence of an event ‘E’, then:
N  E 
Equation: PE   
N S 
P(E) = Probability of an event ‘E’ (0  P(E)  1)
N(E) = Number of outcomes in the event ‘E’
N(S) = Number of outcomes in sample space

Range of Probability
 Since probability is denoted by a fraction:
Range: 0  P(E)  1
If, P(E) = 0 Then, the event cannot occur
If, P(E) = 1 Then, the event is certain to occur

Complementary Events:
 The complementary event to the event ‘E’ is denoted as E (i.e. The not event of ‘E’)
Equation: P E   1  P  E 
Proof:
If ‘E’ has N(E) outcomes, then E has N(S)  N(E) outcomes:
i.e. N  E   N  S   N   E  …(1)
Now divide (1) by N(S):
N  E  N  S  N   E 
 
N  S  N  S  N  S 
 P E   1  P E 

E.g. In a raffle with one prize, 40 tickets are sold. Lisa buys 4 tickets. What is
the probability that:
(a) Lisa wins
(b) Lisa doesn’t win

4 1
A (a) P  L  
40 10
1 9
(b) PL   1  
10 10

Luke Cole Page 1


GITIMH3 94107 Probability Page 2

The Product of Probability:


 The probability that events ‘A’ and ‘B’ will both occur is given by:
Equation: P  A .B   P  A.P B 
P(A.B) = Probability of events ‘A’ & ‘B’
P(A) = Probability of event ‘A’
P(B) = Probability of event ‘B’

E.g. Sam buys 4 tickets in a raffle in which 100 tickets are sold. Two different
tickets are drawn for the 1st and 2nd prize. What is the probability that Sam
wins both prizes?

A P(1st & 2nd prize) = P(1st prize).P(2nd prize)


4 3 1
=  
100 99 825

The Sum of Probability:


 If two events are mutually exclusive, they cannot both occur, so the probability of ‘A’
or ‘B’ occurring is given by:
Equation: P(A or B) = P(A) + P(B)
P(A or B) = Probability of events ‘A’ or ‘B’
P(A) = Probability of event ‘A’
P(B) = Probability of event ‘B’

E.g. A bag holds 7 green, 3 red, 8 yellow and 6 white pegs. One is chosen at
random. What is the probability that the peg is red or yellow?

A Let, R  Red
Let, Y  Yellow
So, P(R or Y) = P(R) + P(Y)
1 1 11
=  
8 3 24

Luke Cole Page 2


GITIMH3 94107 Probability Page 3

 If two events are not mutually exclusive, then the probability of ‘A’ or ‘B’ occurring
is given by:
Equation: P(A or B) = P(A) + P(B)  P(A.B)
P(A or B) = Probability of events ‘A’ or ‘B’
P(A) = Probability of event ‘A’
P(B) = Probability of event ‘B’
P(A.B) = Probability of events ‘A’ & ‘B’

E.g. In a class of 30 students, 22 study chemistry, 18 study physics and 13


study both. If a student is chosen at random, what is the probability that
she studies chemistry or physics?

A Let, C  Chemistry
Let, P  Physics
So, P(C or P) = P(C) + P(P)  P(C & P)
22 18 13 9
=   
30 30 30 10

Tree Diagrams:
 Tree diagrams are used to trace the possible outcomes of an experiment.
E.g. At a maternity hospital, 3 babies are born on a particular day. Find the
probability that there are 2 boys and 1 girl.

A 1st Baby 2nd Baby 3rd Baby Sequence

B BBB
B
G BBG
B B BGB
G
G BGG
B GBB
B
G GBG
G B GGB
G
G GGG

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
So, P(B.B.G) =              
2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
3
=
8

Luke Cole Page 3


GITIMH3 94107 Probability Page 4

Binomial Probabilities
For Information on Permutations or Combinations for Use in Probability See
Permutations and Combinations

For Information on the Binomial Theorem See Binomial Theorem

 Binomial probability is used when the same trial is repeated several times and there
are two possible outcomes, either one of which must occur.
Equation: P k successes  n C k . p k .q n  k
p = Probability of success
q = Probability of failure

E.g. A die is tossed 3 times. Find the binomial expansion for the result of sixes turning
up.

A Let, P(a single six) = 1/6 = p


P(not a single six) = 5/6 = q
On a tree diagram the result is
1st Toss 2nd Toss 3 rd Toss Sequence

p p3
p
q p2.q
p p p2.q
q
q p.q2
p q.p2
p
q p.q2
q p p.q2
q
q q3

From the tree diagram one can see that the results are related to the binomial
expansion of (p + q)3
 p  q 3  p 3  3C1 . p 2 .q  3C 2 . p.q 2  q 3
 p  q 3  P 3 sixes   P2 sixes   P1 sixes   P0 sixes 

Luke Cole Page 4


GITIMH3 94107 Probability Page 5

Examples of Use:
 Games of Chance: A die is tossed.
 Probability of a six is p = 1/6
 Probability of not a six is q = 5/6
 Target Shooting: A marksman scores a bull’s eye on average 4 times out of 5.
 Probability of success is p = 4/5
 Probability of failure is q = 1/5
 Manufactured Articles: A manufacturer determines that in the long run, 10% of the
articles are selected.
 Probability of any one being defectives is p = 1/10
 Probability of not defective is q = 9/10
 Clinical Trials: In the long term, it is found that 80% of patients suffering from
complaint X are used by drug Y. If 10 patients are chose
 Probability of being cured is p = 4/5
 Probability of not being cured is q = 1/5

Luke Cole Page 5


GITIMH3 94107 Probability Page 6

Glossary
Random Experiment The process of performing an experiment repeatedly in an
identical manner, without necessarily identical results
E.g. Throwing a die. Result: 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 or 6; If
this is repeated, one of the above results will
appear again
Simple Event A single outcome of a random experiment
E.g. Throwing a die. Result: 3
Composite Event Consists of more than one simple event
E.g. Throwing a die. Result: 1 & 3
Sample Space The set of all possible outcomes of a random experiment
Equally likely outcomes If there is no reason for one outcome to occur more often
than any other, then the possible outcomes are equally
likely
E.g. Tossing a coin. Result: head or tail
Non-equally likely outcomes E.g. Tossing two coins simultaneously. Result: 2 head or
1 head & 1 tail or 2 tails (not equally likely because
1H & 1T is twice as likely then 2H or 2T)

Luke Cole Page 6