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

I Why do we require conditions for the Poisson Distribution?

  1. Sep 3, 2016 #1
    Three conditions must be met in order for the Poisson Distribution to be used:

    1) The average count rate is constant over time
    2) The counts occurring are independent
    3) The probability of 2 or more counts occurring in the interval $n$ is zero

    Simply, why must these conditions be met for valid use of the Poisson Distribution?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 3, 2016 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    The first two are based on the definition. I am not sure what the third condition is, but being independent the counts may be arbitrarily close..
  4. Sep 3, 2016 #3
    3) seems to be something related to some discrete approximation to the Poisson distribution, not pertaing to the proper distribution per se.

    The other two are simply properties of the distribution. If they don't hold, the data aren't Poisson distributed in the first place.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted