| Home | Sign up! | Projects | Seminars | Research Notes | Today's Lecture | About |

Update Seminar Form
 Course: Seminar Topic: Seminar Description: Buffon's needle is a classic experiment in the field of Geometric Probability Theory.

A needle of length 1 is thrown on a floor made of planks of width 2. The problem is to determine the probability p of the event that the needle will fall across a crack between planks.

Using the geometry, we can calculate p=1/p. We can also physically perform this experiment or simulate it on a computer (see picture).

Suppose we throw the needle N=160 times. We count the number of times M that the needle falls across a crack between planks. In our computer simulation this event (red needle) happened M=49 times and did not happen (blue needle) 111 times.

Hence, M/N=p=1/p approximately. Now, to turn the mathematics around, p=N/M=160/49=3.26531 giving us an approximation for p !

This approximation is an example of a general mathematical technique called the Monte Carlo Method. Your Password: