My Math Forum  

Go Back   My Math Forum > High School Math Forum > Probability and Statistics

Probability and Statistics Basic Probability and Statistics Math Forum

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
April 29th, 2011, 02:57 AM   #1
Joined: Apr 2011

Posts: 1
Thanks: 0

At what point is a probability impossible?

Hi all,

This is my first post to this site... so go easy, lol.

My question is related to science and probability. And is hopefully simple.

I was under the impression that when an event/occurence becomes EXTREMELY unlikely (say, I don't know, 1 in 10-to-the-power-of-127) it has to be written off as impossible, scientifically speaking. Yes I'm aware that mathematically speaking it COULD still occur, but in all practicality it won't so let's just say it won't.

What is the name and probability 'amount' at which an event becomes written off as impossible?

If I have missed a previous thread about this then please provide a link and I'll close this one off.

Thanks all, I look forward to your replies.

Tset Tsyung is offline  
April 29th, 2011, 06:51 AM   #2
Senior Member
Joined: Apr 2011
From: Recife, BR

Posts: 352
Thanks: 0

Re: At what point is a probability impossible?

An event is said impossible if the probability is zero; an event happens almost never if the probability tends to zero, but is still possible. For example, consider a square and choose any point inside it, let's call that point P. If you randomly choose any point there, there is zero probability that the point P will be the one chosen, since there are infinite points there. Yet, it is possible.

Another example: What is the probability of tossing a coin infinite times, and have as result infinite heads? This happens almost never, but technically, is possible.
proglote is offline  
April 29th, 2011, 07:12 AM   #3
Senior Member
Joined: Sep 2009
From: Wisconsin, USA

Posts: 227
Thanks: 0

Re: At what point is a probability impossible?

It also depends on the trial rate. Even with odds that low, if there are 10^100 trials per second, to us, it will happen often. This is actually how neutrinos were discovered. Even though the probability of an individual neutrino interacting with a massive detector is negligible, there are so many passing through it that one is bound to cause a reaction within a small period of time. I don't know numbers, but it doesn't take long.
The_Fool is offline  

  My Math Forum > High School Math Forum > Probability and Statistics

impossible, point, probability

Search tags for this page
Click on a term to search for related topics.
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
impossible (prove that 0 = 1) KyVanchhay Algebra 16 June 11th, 2013 10:26 PM
probability at a point for a continuous random variable rsashwinkumar Advanced Statistics 3 January 7th, 2013 03:25 PM
Is this possible or impossible? ITConsultant1996 Elementary Math 3 June 24th, 2009 11:50 PM
seemingly impossible? gobbatron Calculus 5 November 13th, 2007 11:26 AM
Impossible to get from point A to point B tyro89 Applied Math 4 October 12th, 2007 02:06 PM

Copyright © 2019 My Math Forum. All rights reserved.