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Attribution Non-Commercial (BY-NC)

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Johnathan Nodarse

I wanted to test the Bernoulli Trials using a quarter. I was interested to find out if this tiny equation actually helped predict the outcomes of flipping a coin. I tossed different coins at the same time and wrote down what I got.

Table of Contents

Introduction ...2

Materials ..3

Procedures ..3

Data 3

Conclusion ...7

INTRODUCTION: Probability has always interested me. I have always wanted to know if flipping a coin actually has a 50/50 chance to it. Reading online article, I read about the Bernoulli Trials and wondered how can a small equation be true for everything with probabilities. The Bernoulli trials say:

PA=nkpkqn-k

[Equation 1] where n is the number of trials, or times the experiment is done, k is the number of successes, p is the possibility of a successful outcome, and q is the possibility is the probability of a failure. With this equation, I saw this thing called Pascals Triangle. This helps with something in math called expansion. Expansion is when you simplify two expressions being multiplied to find the answer for a variable. The Pascals Triangle is shown in Figure 1.0. The numbers are the coefficients, or the number being multiplied by the variable. This number is always the same, depending on the exponent. I hypothesize that this equation cannot be true for all times, because there are many factors that play in when flipping a coin, like being tired, or catching it a little

Figure 1.0- This shows Pascals 4 Triangle

later than usual. My Independent variable will be the outcomes of the coin and my dependent variables are the probabilities.

1. Flip one coin 40 times 2. Write down how many heads you got after each toss 3. Flip two coins at the same time 60 times. 4. Write down how many heads you got after each toss. 5. Flip three coins at the same time 80 times. 6. Write down how many heads you got after each toss.

Data: Table 1.0: This table shows the results of steps 1-2. Results 1 Head

5

Frequency 23

0 Heads

17

Table 1.1: This table shows the results of steps 3-4. Results 2 Heads 1 Head 0 Heads Frequency 20 25 15

Table 1.2: This table shows the results of steps 5-6. Results 3 Heads 2 Heads 1 Head 0 Heads Frequency 7 35 29 9

Now that I have my raw data, I will put it into the equation:

PA=AU

[Equation 2] where, P(A) is the probability of A happening, and A being the outcomes and U is the Universal set, or all the numbers there are.

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Table 2.0- this shows the possibility of the events in Table 1.0 Results 1 Head 0 Heads Frequency 23 17 Probability 57.5% 42.5 %

Table 2.1- This table shows the possibility of the events in Table 1.1 Results 2 Heads 1 Head 0 Heads Frequency 20 25 15 Probability 33.3% 41.6% 25%

Table 2.2- This table shows the possibility of the events in Table 1.2 Results 3 Heads 2 Heads 1 Head 0 Heads Frequency 7 35 29 9 Probability 8.75% 43.7% 36.3% 11.2%

Now, I will compare this with the expected probabilities that the Bernoulli Trials give us.

Table 3.0: This table shows the expected probabilities with the same odds as Trial 1 (see Table 1.0). Results 1 Head

7

Probability 50%

0 Heads

50%

Table 3.1: This table shows the expected probabilities with the same odds as Trial 2 (see Table 1.1) Results 2 Heads 1 Head 0 Heads Frequency 25% 50% 25%

Table 3.2: This table shows the expected probabilities with the same odds as Trial 3 (see Table 1.2) Results 3 Heads 2 Heads 1 Head 0 Heads Chart 1.0 Frequency 12.5% 37.5% 37.5% 12.5%

Conclusion: With all the work I did, I see that Bernoullis Trials actually are kind of right. I say kind of, because his trials deal with fixed numbers. This takes away from the reality of the science in it. Peoples arms and fingers get tired of flipping a coin repeatedly for about two hours. This

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makes a change in height of the toss, quickness of the flips and the amount of flips made while the coin is in midair. Some issues with the project were my arm getting tired, causing me to loose height and flips in the toss. Discomfort also made me slow down a bit so that I can flip better, but it took away from my speed. I also had to do make up trials, because my coin kept falling to the ground. One way to fix this would be to put the coins in a cup and shake it and then flip the cup and see the results of the coins.

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