ProbabilityPredicting the Future
If we roll two dice at once and add up their scores we could get results from
This table shows all possible outcomes:
The most likely result when rolling two dice is 7. There are
The least likely outcomes are 2 and 12, each with a probability of
It is impossible to forecast the outcome of a single coin toss or die roll. However, using probability we can very accurately predict the outcome of many dice.
If we throw a die 30 times, we know that we would get around
In this animation you can roll many “virtual” dice at once and see how the results compare to the predicted probabilities:
Notice how, as we roll more and more dice, the observed frequencies become closer and closer to the frequencies we predicted using probability theory. This principle applies to all probability experiments and is called the Law of large numbers.
Similarly, as we increase the number of dice rolled at once, you can also see that the probabilities change from a straight line (one die) to a triangle (two dice) and then to a “bell-shaped” curve. This is known as the Central Limit Theorem, and the bell-shaped curve is called the Normal Distribution.