29 May, 2008 510 Mathematics

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the strange mathematics of probability where heads or tails is a simple question with a far from simple answer. Gambling may be as old as the hills but probability as a mathematical discipline is a relative youngster. Probability is the field of maths relating to random events and, although commonplace now, the idea that you can pluck a piece of maths from the tumbling of dice, the shuffling of cards or the odds in the local lottery is a relatively recent and powerful one. It may start with the toss of a coin but probability reaches into every area of the modern world, from the analysis of society to the decay of an atom.

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Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. Heads or tails?