How do I prove this probability formula

Probability and probabilistic evidence

Discrete Mathematics pp 295-330 | Cite as

  • Jiří Matoušek
  • Jaroslav Nešetřil
Part of the Springer textbook book series (SLB)


You are probably familiar with one or the other problem that involves determining the probability of an event occurring (several such problems are also covered in the other chapters). In textbooks there are often "real-life" problems or at least those that look real. It is about shuffling or drawing cards, throwing coins or even needles, also about defective lightbulbs, interrupted telephone lines or radioactive decay - depending on the interests and imagination of the authors. In this chapter we would like to show a remarkable mathematical application of probability theory, namely how one can prove mathematical statements by means of elementary probability theory, even if they have nothing to do with probability or chance.

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  1. The adjective "probabilistic" means: "Using the means of probability theory". It is derived from the English word "probability" for "probability." Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jiří Matoušek
  • Jaroslav Nešetřil
  1. 1.Institute for Applied Mathematics and Institute for Theoretical Computer ScienceKarls UniversityPraha 1Czech Republic