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Math in Motion: Playing with a desktop Galton Board

This delightful little device brings to life the statistical concept of normal distribution. As you rotate the Galton Board on its axis, you set into motion a flow of steel beads that bounce with equal probability to the left or right through several rows of pegs. As the beads accumulate in the bins, they approximate the bell curve, as shown by the yellow line on the front of the Galton board. This hands-on Galton Board allows you to visualize the order embedded in the chaos of randomness.

Invented by multi-hyphenate statistician Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911), this ‘bean machine’ is the basis for games like Peggle, Plinko, and Pachinko. In the video above, Grand Illusions‘ Tim Rowett demonstrates this delightful mathematical model by Four Pines Publishing. We also get a close up look at the Pascal’s Triangle thats printed on it.

Get your own Galton Board on Grand Illusions or at Amazon.

Next: The mathematical secrets of Pascal’s triangle and the Tippe Top, and the Pythagorean theorem water demo.

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