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Homework Help: Poisson statistics

  1. Nov 1, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    I'm trying to understand the poisson to normal approximation. I've got this book that says the poisson distribution approximates the normal distribution well when the mean is greater than 100.

    2. understanding/interpretation
    Let's call N the number of counts observed when observing a star for example.
    Let's also say that I observe this star 300 times getting N counts over t seconds each time.

    So if we apply the above "poisson to normal approximation" statement to the situation I just outlined then is this right:

    If the mean number of counts observed from the 300 trials is greater than 100, then the poisson distribution will approximate a normal distribution pretty well.

    Is this correct??? I would really appreciate any confirmation/rejection of this because I'm studying for my exam for tomorrow and this is a small thing I'm not too sure about.

    Thanks in advance
  2. jcsd
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