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Probability Physics question. I don't exactly know which book to use as reference.

  1. Sep 29, 2011 #1
    Here's one of the question to my problem set:

    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Two drunks start out together at the origin, each having equal probability of making a step to the left or right along the x-axis. Find the probability that they will meet after N-steps. It is to be understood that the men make their steps simultaneously. (It may be helpful to consider their relative motion.)

    2. Relevant equations

    I don't know much about the related equation because we have no reference for this particular subject.

    3. The attempt at a solution
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 29, 2011 #2

    HallsofIvy

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    Re: Probability Physics question. I don't exactly know which book to use as reference

    I'm not sure why you would need a specific book or equation. Just "reason" it out. If the two people, lets call them "A" and "B", where A is to the right of B, are distance x apart at time t, then there are four equally likely things that can happen:
    A and B both move to the right- the distance between them does not change- it is still x.
    A and B both move to the left- the distance between them does not change.
    A moves to the right and B moves to the left- the distance between them increases, it is x+2.
    A moves to the left and B moves to the right- the distance between them decreases, it is x- 2.

    You should be able to find the probabililty distribution for x and so find the probability that it is, at some future time, 0.
     
  4. Sep 29, 2011 #3
    Re: Probability Physics question. I don't exactly know which book to use as reference

    The reason I need a textbook for probability (physics) because there are a lot harder questions than this. But anyway thanks for the reply. I'll start working on it.
     
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