## Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

# Predicting a die throw

Date:
September 12, 2012
Source:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Summary:
By combining chaos theory and high school level mechanics, scientists reveal that the random probability of a die throw can be determined and predicted, if you precisely understand the initial conditions.

Vegas, Monte Carlo, and Atlantic City draw people from around the world who are willing to throw the dice and take their chances. Researchers from the Technical University of Lodz, Poland, have spotted something predictable in the seemingly random throw of the dice.

By applying chaos theory and some high school level mechanics, they determined that by knowing the initial conditions – such as the viscosity of the air, the acceleration of gravity, and the friction of the table – it should be possible to predict the outcome when rolling the dice.

The researchers created a three-dimensional model of the die throw and compared the theoretical results to experimental observations. By using a high speed camera to track the die’s movement as it is thrown and bounces, they found the probability of the die landing on the face that is the lowest one at the beginning is larger than the probability of landing on any other face. This suggests that the toss of a symmetrical die is not a perfectly random action.

“Theoretically the die throw is predictable, but the accuracy required for determining the initial position is so high that practically it approximates a random process,” said Marcin Kapitaniak, a Ph.D. student at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. “Only a good magician can throw the die in the way to obtain the desired result.”

These results suggest that randomness in mechanical systems is connected with discontinuity as the die bounces. “When the die bounces on the table, it is more difficult to predict the result than in the case of a die landing on the soft surface,” Kapitaniak said.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Institute of Physics (AIP). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:

1. Marcin Kapitaniak, Jaroslaw Strzalko, Juliusz Grabski, Tomasz Kapitaniak. The three-dimensional dynamics of the die throw. Chaos, 2012; (accepted)

American Institute of Physics (AIP). "Predicting a die throw." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120912083526.htm>.
American Institute of Physics (AIP). (2012, September 12). Predicting a die throw. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120912083526.htm
American Institute of Physics (AIP). "Predicting a die throw." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120912083526.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

## More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

### Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

### Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

### Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

AP (July 18, 2014) — The Obama administration approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine through waters shared by endangered whales and turtles. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

### Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Newsy (July 18, 2014) — The wreckage of the German submarine U-166 has become clearly visible for the first time since it was discovered in 2001. Video provided by Newsy
Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

### Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Reuters - US Online Video (July 17, 2014) — President Barak Obama stopped by at a lunch counter in Delaware before making remarks about boosting the nation's infrastructure. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below \$100 a Barrel

### Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below \$100 a Barrel

TheStreet (July 16, 2014) — Oil Futures are bouncing back after tumbling below \$100 a barrel for the first time since May yesterday. Jeff Grossman is the president of BRG Brokerage and trades at the NYMEX. Grossman tells TheStreet the Middle East is always a concern for oil traders. Oil prices were pushed down in recent weeks on Libya increasing its production. Supply disruptions in Iraq fading also contributed to prices falling. News from China's economic front showing a growth for the second quarter also calmed fears on its slowdown. Jeff Grossman talks to TheStreet's Susannah Lee on this and more on the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. Video provided by TheStreet

## Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):

Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

## In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Save/Print:
Share:

## Free Subscriptions

Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

## Get Social & Mobile

Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

## Have Feedback?

Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web