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# A simple question that many don't know the answer to

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posted on Jun, 28 2010 @ 10:01 PM
reply to post by Gentill Abdulla

I've noticed you wonder a lot. Keep that up

Never once mentioned you cheat. It seemed kind of impossible while doing the equations and all at the same time.

I was just sharing my thoughts.
My logic tells me that if one likes two know any upcoming answer, it is usually to manipulate the outcome.

You just like what you do. I think. Like a hobby.

Go on... I was never here.

posted on Jun, 28 2010 @ 10:06 PM

Originally posted by Sinter Klaas
reply to post by Gentill Abdulla

I've noticed you wonder a lot. Keep that up

Never once mentioned you cheat. It seemed kind of impossible while doing the equations and all at the same time.

I was just sharing my thoughts.
My logic tells me that if one likes two know any upcoming answer, it is usually to manipulate the outcome.

You just like what you do. I think. Like a hobby.

Go on... I was never here.

I'll try!

DANG!

Facepalm!

posted on Jun, 28 2010 @ 11:41 PM

Originally posted by In nothing we trust
Here are my results:

10 flips

10 flips
Just kidding, those results aren't that unusual.

I don't understand the OP at all, I'm a statistics expert so maybe I'm too biased to be open minded about this. But to me the odds are 50/50.

And I suspect air pressure isn't a huge factor. When I flip a coin it seems to be spinning as fast when it lands as when it started, so if air resistance is slowing it down, which it probably is, it's not by much.

Here's a tricky question, let's say you're at the roulette wheel in Vegas, and the table has a huge crowd around it because there have been 21 reds in a row! What are the odds that the next one will also be a red? I'm amazed at how many people miss this one!

Roulette Winners: Legendary Stories

He writes, “Here’s a true story, and I saw it happen. At Caesars Palace on July 14, 2000, at 1:35 p.m., the number 7 came up six times in a row at Roulette Wheel #211.
To figure the odds of such an occurrence, multiply 38 x 38 x 38 x 38 x 38 x 38, or over three billion to one!”

Black was said to have come up 23 times in a row at the Imperial Palace in Las Vegas (a dealer told me this in the early 1990s) or was that 22 times in a row at Caesars in Atlantic City (mid-1990s)?
Red once came up 21 times but I can’t remember who told me or where it was.

posted on Jun, 28 2010 @ 11:47 PM

Originally posted by Arbitrageur

I don't understand the OP at all, I'm a statistics expert so maybe I'm too biased to be open minded about this. But to me the odds are 50/50.

And I suspect air pressure isn't a huge factor. When I flip a coin it seems to be spinning as fast when it lands as when it started, so if air resistance is slowing it down, which it probably is, it's not by much.

Air pressure is a factor but not a huge factor like the force applied, the angle at which it is applied, the weight of the coin, and the beginning face of coin.

Each of theses reduces the percentage of it being heads or tails.

Then it finally becomes impossible to be a certain side of it if the variables are what they are.

posted on Jun, 28 2010 @ 11:56 PM
reply to post by Gentill Abdulla

right, if you used a machine to apply the initial force, you might be able to make it consistent enough to get a predictable result. When I use my thumb to apply the flicking force, it's not that consistent.

posted on Jun, 28 2010 @ 11:57 PM

Originally posted by Arbitrageur
reply to post by Gentill Abdulla

right, if you used a machine to apply the initial force, you might be able to make it consistent enough to get a predictable result. When I use my thumb to apply the flicking force, it's not that consistent.

Which is why there is a need for a reading on your thumb as well.

posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 12:28 AM
As noted above there are so many variables here that are not taken into account, this theory would only work in a vacuum because if there was any form of crosswind or temperature difference the results would be thrown off.

For example if there is a wind blowing perpendicular to the spin of the coin in flight it would add another axis of spin to the coin that would throw the results off.

Or consider, is the room a 0 degrees kelvin or somewhere around 1235 degrees kelvin(the melting point of pure silver, assuming the coin is silver)? This matters because not only will the surface area of the coin be smaller at absolute zero than it will at 1 degree below its melting point, if we're in extreme temperatures the metal becomes easily malleable. Although the odds of either of these extremes being tested it still holds true at more reasonable temperatures because of varying surface area.

Another odd case to consider: what if the coin is not circular but square, hexagonal or octagonal?

I'm not saying it is impossible to create a formula to predict the outcome of a coin toss but it would be a very detailed one that has to include every variable from temperature to imperfections in the specific coin.

posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 12:41 AM

Originally posted by wl653
As noted above there are so many variables here that are not taken into account, this theory would only work in a vacuum because if there was any form of crosswind or temperature difference the results would be thrown off.

Or consider, is the room a 0 degrees kelvin or somewhere around 1235 degrees kelvin(the melting point of pure silver, assuming the coin is silver)? This matters because not only will the surface area of the coin be smaller at absolute zero than it will at 1 degree below its melting point, if we're in extreme temperatures the metal becomes easily malleable. Although the odds of either of these extremes being tested it still holds true at more reasonable temperatures because of varying surface area.

Another odd case to consider: what if the coin is not circular but square, hexagonal or octagonal?

I'm not saying it is impossible to create a formula to predict the outcome of a coin toss but it would be a very detailed one that has to include every variable from temperature to imperfections in the specific coin.

Wind is caused by changes in atmospheric pressure.(air pressure in this case)

Let's try to be realistic here. What are the chances that you or anything will be flipping a coin above the coin's melting point?

Actually shape doesn't matter.(As long as it is distributing it's weight evenly.)

posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 08:06 AM

Originally posted by YouCanCallMeKM
I have a book called " Numbers" In it there was a piece where it talked about Pascal and Fermat gambling on by flipping a coin. If the coin landed heads up Fermat won a point, tails up Pascal won a point. 1st to 10 points win. Both put down 50 francs, so the total would be 100 francs. They played the game until it was 8 points for Fermat and 7 points for Pascal.(Also keep in mind that they did this threw sending letters of there results to each other back and forth) They had to stop playing tho because Fermat received a message that a friend was very ill and he had to leave immediately. Here is a part from the book on how they decided to split the pot.

Dear Blaise.
As to the problem of how to divide the 100 francs, I think I have found a solution that you will find fair. Seeing as I needed only 2 points to win the game, and you needed 3,I think we can establish that after four more tosses of the coin, the game would have been over. For, in those four tosses, if you did not get the necessary 3 points for your victory, this would imply that I had in fact gained the necessary 2 points for my victory. In a similar manner, if I had not achieved the necessary 2 points for my victory, this would imply that you had in fact achieved at least 3 points and had therefore won the game. Thus, I believe the following list of possible ending to the game is exhaustive. I have denoted "heads" by an "h" and tails by a "t". I have starred the outcomes that indicate a win for myself.

hhhh* hhht* hhth* hhtt*

hthh* htht* htth* httt

thhh* thht* thth* thtt

tthh* ttht ttth tttt

I think you will agree that all of these outcomes are equally likely. Thus I believe that we should divide the stakes by the ration 11:5 in my favor, that is, I should receive (11/16)*100=68.75 francs, while you should receive 31.25 francs

I hope all is well in Paris. Your friend and colleague
Pierre

That's freakin funny

2nd line

posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 09:20 AM
reply to post by Gentill Abdulla

I was joking more or less about flipping a coin near melting point, as I noted that that was an extreme case that would probably never happen but used as an example.

Shape does in fact matter because if you are flipping a coin with 8 sides and it doesn't land perfectly on one of the faces but instead hits on the edge of the coin(which is pretty frequent if you flip a coin and watch closely). This matters because does it hit one of the flat smooth surfaces and react similar to how a round coin does? Or will it hit a corner which will cause the coin to turn in an unexpected manner?

If you mean to flip the coin and catch it, stopping its motion as soon as it makes contact this variable can be eliminated but if you are allowing it to hit a surface and come to rest on its own this is very important. Think of a football, if you throw straight at the ground tip first it will react very unpredictably.

posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 09:25 AM
Also, taking air pressure into account does not offset for wind as air pressure is variable based upon volume, temperature, and height above earths surface. It does not, however, take into account speed or direction of the wind.

posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 09:29 AM

That's cool when that happens, I always think about that Twilight Zone episode when I hear of or see a coin doing this. Remember it? "A Penny For Your Thoughts".

[edit on 29-6-2010 by ldyserenity]

posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 09:35 AM
reply to post by Gentill Abdulla

Of course, this assumes that the coin immediately comes to rest when it hits the target. Newton's third law will come into play, causing the coin to bounce, spin and tumble which tells me that flipping a coin is purely chance.

posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 11:59 AM
reply to post by Gentill Abdulla

With any equation, you are only able to solve for one variable at a time.
You have too many variables in your hypothetical equation to solve for a valid solution.

For starters.
Some of the variables you have defined could better be considered as constants.

Air Pressure or Barometric Pressure would be negligible in a trajectory of 10 feet or less and would be considered a constant as far as your equation is concerned.

If it did influence the coin's trajectory, it would be miniscule at best.

One would need to change altitude considerably before air density enters into the equation and would effect the trajectory of a simple coin toss.

All in all though, there have been numerous statistical models which calculate this probability.

Because there are two sides to the coin, due to it's highly improbable for it to land on edge IMA, it is called a binomial equation which translates to Heads or Tails.

And subsequently ends up averaging out to resulting in around 50/50.

Take a course or two in Physics and Calculus.

It will reveal quite a bit about how statistical models actually work.

posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 12:18 PM
darned double posts!

[edit on 6/29/2010 by Soylent Green Is People]

posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 12:18 PM
If a coin is flipped by a device that always imparts the EXACT same force on the coin with the EXACT same rotational inertia, and the coin is flipped in a controlled environment where the air movement, air pressure, humidity, temperature, and the force of gravity can be EXACTLY the same for every coin flip...

...then, yes -- you can predict a coin toss every time.

Actually, by using this "controlled environment" as described above, just flip it once, see how it lands, then repeat the procedure with the same set up in the same controlled environment. The coin should do the same thing every time.

If you eliminate all of the variables and make the "flip" motion the same every time, then the coin will land the same every time.

[edit on 6/29/2010 by Soylent Green Is People]

posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 02:55 PM

Originally posted by nh_ee
reply to post by Gentill Abdulla

With any equation, you are only able to solve for one variable at a time.
You have too many variables in your hypothetical equation to solve for a valid solution.

For starters.
Some of the variables you have defined could better be considered as constants.

Air Pressure or Barometric Pressure would be negligible in a trajectory of 10 feet or less and would be considered a constant as far as your equation is concerned.

If it did influence the coin's trajectory, it would be minuscule at best.

One would need to change altitude considerably before air density enters into the equation and would effect the trajectory of a simple coin toss.

Because there are two sides to the coin, due to it's highly improbable for it to land on edge IMA, it is called a binomial equation which translates to Heads or Tails.

And subsequently ends up averaging out to resulting in around 50/50.

Take a course or two in Physics and Calculus.

It will reveal quite a bit about how statistical models actually work.

But their answers are still averaged.

Though air pressure doesn't change much it is still a variable seeing as how air pressure decreases with height. But in a coin toss it might change it enough for the coin to flip on another side.

I do agree there are a lot of variables, but when they come together they have an answer to how many rotations you get.

I suggest for anyone looking at this to try and test it mathematically of course.

[edit on 29-6-2010 by Gentill Abdulla]

posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 04:15 PM
absurd exercise of brain power.....better spent figuring out real solutions to real problems.

i admit i am not 'smart', but i have enough common sense to have observed that in spite of the fact there are scores of amazingly intelligent and highly gifted ppl in the world.....the world isnt better for it....and i take that personally in a way since one of my heroes, nikola tesla, was not only 'smart' but also a visionary of almost unequaled stature in human history (my opinion) and yet....i truly do not believe we are better off, in my subjective appraisal, for what he has contributed to society (the world).

being able to watch tv instead of actually going outside and doing something with your hands has only made us smug that we are so sophisticated.....meanwhile our brains getter fatter along with our rear-ends.

anyone see that WII commercial about the guy sitting all day....then he comes home to his family....and yes, instead of going 'out' and actually doing something they revert to convenience of technology and 'bond' at home performing some arguably very rediculous movements.

yes, smart ppl invented TV, smart ppl invented nintendo WII, ppl that were good at math.......and big deal. some of the best times i can remember in my life were spent riding my bike in the summertime with friends...sometimes crashing epically and having a story to tell later from a scar i had acquired from living REAL life....

posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 05:02 PM

Originally posted by ikonspyre
absurd exercise of brain power.....better spent figuring out real solutions to real problems.

I would like to think that I help find solutions for some problems in the world.

posted on Jun, 29 2010 @ 08:50 PM

Originally posted by Gentill Abdulla

Originally posted by ikonspyre
absurd exercise of brain power.....better spent figuring out real solutions to real problems.

I would like to think that I help find solutions for some problems in the world.

The guy who did that is the guy the movie "21" is based on. In theory a coin toss can be predicted but in reality it's much harder to do.

Card counting was a much more useful application of statistics as the movie 21 portrayed:

21

The system involves card counting and the team is split into two groups. "Spotters" play the minimum bet and keep track of the count. They send secret signals to the "big players," who place large bets whenever the count at a table is favorable.

but it's a lot harder than it looks in the movie!

MIT Blackjack Team

the first highly capitalized "bank" of the MIT Blackjack Team started on August 1, 1980. The investment stake was \$89,000, with both outside investors and players putting up the capital. Ten players, including Kaplan and Massar, played on this bank. Ten weeks later they more than doubled the original stake. Profits per hour played at the tables were \$162.50, statistically equivalent to the projected rate of \$170/hour detailed in the investor offering prospectus. Per the terms of the investment offering, players and investors split the profits with players paid in proportion to their playing hours and computer simulated win rates. Over the ten week period of this first bank, players, mostly undergraduates, earned an average of over \$80/hour while investors achieved an annualized return in excess of 250 percent.

\$162.50 an hour in 1980 was like \$417 in 2009, a pretty nice paycheck! Even \$80 an hour was over \$200 an hour in today's money. That's what I call finding a real-world application for statistics!

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