Science Ahoy!

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Rare Probabilities

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The probability that you would be struck by a meteor in a given hour is about 8.3 × 10-15.

The age of the universe is about 13.7 billion years, or 1.2 × 1014 hours. An extreme underestimate would be that a meteorite hit the earth only once during this time span. Then the probability that such a disaster would happen in a given hour is the inverse of the above number, about 8.3 × 10-15. This rather sloppy calculation provides a rough idea of how small the probability 10-15 is. Iba and Hukushima recently succeeded in generating rare events with probabilities as small as 10-60 on a computer.

From here.


Written by Elgie Shepard

October 10, 2008 at 1:57 pm

Posted in math, Science

Tagged with , , ,

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