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On May 13, 2013, starting at 4:30 PM, the probability of low seismic activity for the next 48 hours in Alaska was reported as about 1.02%. Use this information for the next 200 days to find the probability that there will be low seismic activity in ten of the next 200 days. Use both the binomial and Poisson distributions to calculate the probabilities. Are they close?

Let X = the number of days with low seismic activity.

Using the binomial distribution:

  • P ( x = 10 ) = 200! 10! ( 200 - 10 ) ! × .0102 10 = 0.000039

Using the Poisson distribution:

  • Calculate μ = np = 200(0.0102) ≈ 2.04
  • P ( x = 10 ) = μ x e x! = 2.04 10 e -2.04 10! = 0.000045

We expect the approximation to be good because n is large (greater than 20) and p is small (less than 0.05). The results are close—both probabilities reported are almost 0.

Estimating the binomial distribution with the poisson distribution

We found before that the binomial distribution provided an approximation for the hypergeometric distribution. Now we find that the Poisson distribution can provide an approximation for the binomial. We say that the binomial distribution approaches the Poisson. The binomial distribution approaches the Poisson distribution is as n gets larger and p is small such that np becomes a constant value. There are several rules of thumb for when one can say they will use a Poisson to estimate a binomial. One suggests that np , the mean of the binomial, should be less than 25. Another author suggests that it should be less than 7. And another, noting that the mean and variance of the Poisson are both the same, suggests that np and npq , the mean and variance of the binomial, should be greater than 5. There is no one broadly accepted rule of thumb for when one can use the Poisson to estimate the binomial.

As we move through these probability distributions we are getting to more sophisticated distributions that, in a sense, contain the less sophisticated distributions within them. This proposition has been proven by mathematicians. This gets us to the highest level of sophistication in the next probability distribution which can be used as an approximation to all of those that we have discussed so far. This is the normal distribution.

A survey of 500 seniors in the Price Business School yields the following information. 75% go straight to work after graduation. 15% go on to work on their MBA. 9% stay to get a minor in another program. 1% go on to get a Master's in Finance.

What is the probability that more than 2 seniors go to graduate school for their Master's in finance?

This is clearly a binomial probability distribution problem. The choices are binary when we define the results as "Graduate School in Finance" versus "all other options." The random variable is discrete, and the events are, we could assume, independent. Solving as a binomial problem, we have:

Binomial Solution

n * p = 500 * 0.01 = 5 = µ
P ( 0 ) = 500 ! 0 ! ( 500 0 ) ! 0.01 0 ( 1 0.01 ) 500 0 = 0.00657
P ( 1 ) = 500 ! 1 ! ( 500 1 ) ! 0.01 1 ( 1 0.01 ) 500 1 = 0.03318
P ( 2 ) = 500 ! 2 ! ( 500 2 ) ! 0.01 2 ( 1 0.01 ) 500 2 = 0.08363

Adding all 3 together = 0.12339

1 0.12339 = 0.87661

Poisson approximation

n * p = 500 * 0.01 = 5 = μ
n * p * ( 1 p ) = 500 * 0.01 * ( 0.99 ) 5 = σ 2 = μ
P ( X ) = e −np ( n p ) x x ! = { P ( 0 ) = e −5 * 5 0 0 ! } + { P ( 1 ) = e −5 * 5 1 1 ! } + { P ( 2 ) = e −5 * 5 2 2 ! }
0.0067 + 0.0337 + 0.0842 = 0.1247
1 0.1247 = 0.8753

An approximation that is off by 1 one thousandth is certainly an acceptable approximation.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Introductory statistics. OpenStax CNX. Aug 09, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11776/1.26
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