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Measurement of Probability

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A Bolt of Light

Credit: poorboy1225
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/20144155@N00/5683294429/
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Any time that you calculate the chances of something happening or not happening, you are calculating a probability. Probabilities measure the likelihood of an event. Have you ever wondered what your chances are of being struck by lightning?

News Flash

According to National Geographic News, lightning is one of the leading weather-related causes of death and injury in the United States. When people don't heed the warnings of a storm, they take chances with being "struck." But what are those chances? The likelihood of a person becoming a victim of lightning in any given year is 1 in 700,000, which can be expressed as \frac{1}{700,000} or 0.00014%. That is a very small probability!

Credit: Nathan Vaughn
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/46799485@N00/5802508421/
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

What are the chances of being struck by lightning in your lifetime? The probability of this happening is 1 in 3,000 or about 0.03%. You have a 0.03% chance of being struck by lightning in your lifetime. The probability is quite small, but it does exist. Be safe and mind Mother Nature!

See for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3IroCiexL4

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Check out the following interactive activity for more practice with probability.

http://studyjams.scholastic.com/studyjams/jams/math/probability/probability-fraction.htm

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: poorboy1225; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/20144155@N00/5683294429/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: Nathan Vaughn; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/46799485@N00/5802508421/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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