Probability Theory

  • Luca Lista
Part of the Lecture Notes in Physics book series (LNP, volume 941)


The main goal of an experimental physicist is to measure quantities of interest, possibly with the best precision. In the luckiest cases, measurements lead to the discovery of new physical phenomena that may represent a breakthrough in the knowledge of Nature. Measurements, and, more in general, observations of Nature’s behavior, are performed with experiments that record quantitative information about the physical phenomenon under observation.


  1. 1.
    Laplace, P.: Essai Philosophique Sur les Probabilités, 3rd edn. Courcier Imprimeur, Paris (1816)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Kolmogorov, A.: Foundations of the Theory of Probability. Chelsea, New York (1956)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    The coefficients present in the binomial distribution are the same that appear in the expansion a binomial raised to the nth power, (a + b)n. A simple iterative way to compute those coefficients is known as Pascal’s triangle. In different countries this triangle is named after different authors, e.g.: the Tartaglia’s triangle in Italy, Yang Hui’s triangle in China, and so on. In particular, the following publications of the triangle are present in literature: • India: published in the tenth century, referring to the work of Pingala, dating back to fifth–second century bc. • Persia: Al-Karaju (953–1029) and Omar Jayyám (1048–1131) • China: Yang Hui (1238–1298); see Fig. 1.8 • Germany: Petrus Apianus (1495–1552) • Italy: Nicolò Fontana Tartaglia (1545) • France: Blaise Pascal (1655)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Yang Hui (杨辉) triangle as published by Zhu Shijie (朱世杰) in Siyuan yujian, (四元玉鉴, Jade Mirror of the four unknowns, 1303). Public domain image.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Eadie, W., Drijard, D., James, F., Roos, M., Saudolet, B.: Statistical Methods in Experimental Physics. North Holland, Amsterdam (1971)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    D’Agostini, G.: Bayesian Reasoning in Data Analysis: A Critical Introduction. World Scientific, Hackensack (2003)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luca Lista
    • 1
  1. 1.INFN Sezione di NapoliNapoliItaly

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