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I did two projects earlier this year that I did not previously count but I have decided too due to lack of time and lots to do in other classes as well.

Buffon’s Needle

For this project, I used matches instead of needles. I took a large piece of paper and drew parallel lines on it. The lines were two match lengths apart from each other. I then threw fifty matchsticks onto the piece of paper. I ended up with 19 match sticks on parallel lines, and 31 not on a line.

There were a few reasons this experiment was not perfect. There were creases in the paper that occasionally made the matches roll once they landed on the paper. There were a few times when I threw a match and it hit another match, causing it to move either off a line or onto a line. If this happened I tried my best to move the matches back to where they would have been. And probably most significant, I couldn't seem to “randomly” throw the matchsticks. The majority of them went to the middle and once I noticed this and tried to evenly distribute them, well then I was purposely throwing more to the outside of the paper so it DEFINITELY wasn’t random. According to my model, the probability of a match landing on one of the lines is 38%, which seems very low. It should be closer to 50% I think.

I spent about an hour on this project. I think the most important thing I learned is how hard it is to be truly random.

#### 16 comments

Nice job on both of your projects.

Penny Project: 8/10

Buffon’s needle: 9/10

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