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ERIC Number: EJ1062268
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Feb
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 62
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Studying the Binomial Distribution Using LabVIEW
George, Danielle J.; Hammer, Nathan I.
Journal of Chemical Education, v92 n2 p389-394 Feb 2015
This undergraduate physical chemistry laboratory exercise introduces students to the study of probability distributions both experimentally and using computer simulations. Students perform the classic coin toss experiment individually and then pool all of their data together to study the effect of experimental sample size on the binomial distribution. Simulations of the coin toss experiment are also performed using the software package LabVIEW. LabVIEW facilitates the creation of complex computer programs in a short period of time, even by beginner programmers. Histograms in LabVIEW are displayed in real time with students adjusting the number of simulated coin tosses on the fly using a virtual knob or a slider, up to 1 million individual trials. This allows the students to see firsthand the evolution of the binomial distribution into the Gaussian distribution with a large sample size.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Mississippi
IES Grant or Contract Numbers: NSF CHE-0955550|NSF CHE-1156713