Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Probability a coin lands on head

  1. Feb 14, 2010 #1
    For A coin that comes up heads independently with probability p on each flip what is the variance in the number of flips until the kth head appears ?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 14, 2010 #2

    LCKurtz

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Re: prbability

    James, nobody is going to work your homework problems for you. Finish filling out the form showing the relevant equations and what you have tried. Then someone will help you.
     
  4. Feb 14, 2010 #3
    Re: prbability

    what form ?
     
  5. Feb 14, 2010 #4
    Re: prbability

    in order to get say r heads you need to flip the coin at least r times. thus for x>=r the number of possible ways to get r-1 heads in x-1 trials is (x-1)choose(r-1) without respect to order. on the xth trial we will get the rth success. thus since the trials are independent r of those trials have probability p for heads and x-r the remaining trials are all tails which have probability q = 1-p. we form the product of these total number of success and failures with the number of ways in which they may occur and we arrive at the negative binomial distribution. this distribution has a variance can you look it up and calculate it?
     
  6. Feb 15, 2010 #5

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: prbability

    The Homework Help Template form that you are provided when you start a new thread here in the Homework Help forums. It has sections where you fill in the relevant equations, and where you show us your attempt at a solution.

    It's the form you deleted when you started this thread, apparently.
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook