1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
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: Tricky Theoretical Probability Question

  1. Sep 21, 2012 #1
    Hey :)
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    So, for a school assignment we had to create a carnival game and then calculate the empirical & theoretical probability of it. My game was called 'splat the rat;' basically, I put a computer mouse down a pipe and a contestant had to try and hit it with a little hammer when it came out the bottom. Here is a link to a game similar to mine:

    2. Relevant equations

    The empirical part was easy; according to it, there is a 47% chance that the mouse will be hit at the bottom.

    3. The attempt at a solution

    But I'm really struggling with the theoretical aspect; should I find out the average persons reflexes and then calculate the velocity of the mouse going down the pipe and then put these together somehow? If so, how? Or is this completely the wrong idea?

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 21, 2012 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    What you are asking is not a probability problem. The motion of the mouse down the pipe can be solved by separating the acceleration into components parallel to and perpendicular to the pipe. The "reflex time" of the people is neither a math nor a physics problem- it is psychology. Either look it up or test a number of people and average.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook