Buffon's Coin Problem

Background: Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (1707 1788) was a french mathematician and naturalist. He began the study of geometric probability with his coin and needle problems. Geometric probabilities are computed by the comparison of measurements.

Geometric Probability
involves the comparison of measurements to compute probabilities.

Overview: Toss a coin at the grid. What is the probability that the coin does not cross a grid line? How does that probability change if you change the size or shape of the grid? or the size of the coin?


Grid: The size of the grid divisions and the shape of the grid can be changed. To change the shape of the grid, choose 'Change Grid' from the 'Display Menu'. Then select from:

Use the spinners at the top of the right panel to adjust the height and width of the divisions in the grid.

Coin Size: The spinner at the bottom of the applet indicates the diameter of the coin in pixels. Note that the diameter of the coin can exceed the dimensions of the grid.

Display Menu: The display menu allows the user