Buffon's needle problem

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Comte de Buffon (1707—1788) French naturalist


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A probability problem posed by Buffon in 1777. A needle of length l is to be randomly thrown on to a piece of paper that is covered by parallel lines that are a distance d apart; the problem is ‘What is the probability that the needle crosses a line?’ The answer is . This provides an empirical method for the estimation of π (though many throws are needed if an accurate answer is required).

Subjects: Probability and Statistics.

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