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Math Help - Cube probability

  1. #1
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    Cube probability

    On choosing three vertex of a cube at random, what's the probability that the three are in a same face?
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    I would think it would be (\frac{1}{6})(\frac{3}{4})=\frac{1}{8}

    It may be more involved than that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krizalid View Post
    On choosing three vertex of a cube at random, what's the probability that the three are in a same face?
    The counting principle, of course.

    The first pick if free, we may pick any vertex.

    There are 8 vertices on the cube, we've picked one leaving 7. Of these only 6 share a face with the one we've picked. So we have
    1 \cdot \frac{6}{7}
    so far.

    Now, we've picked two vertices.
    1) If the two vertices are on the same edge, there are 4 possible of 6 vertices left to pick, so the probability will be
    1 \cdot \frac{6}{7} \cdot \frac{4}{6} = \frac{4}{7}

    2) If the two vertices are not on the same edge, they are on a diagonal across one face. In this case there is only one possible face that these could be on, so there are only two possible vertices out of 6, so the probability will be
    1 \cdot \frac{6}{7} \cdot \frac{2}{6} = \frac{2}{7}

    Only one of these choices is possible, so we add the probabilities:
    P = \frac{4}{7} + \frac{2}{7} = \frac{6}{7}

    (Which seems entirely too large a chance for my intuition. Did I goof somewhere?)

    -Dan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krizalid View Post
    On choosing three vertex of a cube at random, what's the probability that the three are in a same face?
    Number the vertices, assume the first vetrex choosen is vertex 1.

    Now draw up a contingency tree and work out the probabilities for the
    favourable leaves.

    Answer appears to be 20/42~=0.476

    RonL
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    Am I missing something in this problem? Because it seems easy.

    The first vertex can be anywhere. The second vertex needs to be on the same face. There are 7 points and 3 favorable points. So (3/7). The next one is 2 favorable points out of 6 so it is (2/6). So (3/7)(2/6)=1/7
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    Well, Well. I seems that we donít agree, any of us.
    There are \left( {\begin{array}{c}    8  \\   3  \\ \end{array}} \right) =56 possible sets of three vertices on a cube.
    There are \left( {\begin{array}{c}    4  \\   3  \\ \end{array}} \right) =4 sets of three on any face.
    Having six faces that means that there are 24 sets of three that share a face.
    The probability of sharing a face ought to be: \frac{{24}}{{56}} = \frac{3}{7}
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  7. #7
    Eater of Worlds
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    Dagnubbit, plato, that's what I came up with first, but thought it was wrong.

    Here's what I done originally:

    \frac{C(6,1)C(4,3)}{C(8,3)}=\frac{3}{7}

    Oh well, live and learn. I always second guess myself with probability and counting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plato View Post
    Well, Well. I seems that we don’t agree, any of us.
    There are \left( {\begin{array}{c}    8  \\   3  \\ \end{array}} \right) =56 possible sets of three vertices on a cube.
    There are \left( {\begin{array}{c}    4  \\   3  \\ \end{array}} \right) =4 sets of three on any face.
    Having six faces that means that there are 24 sets of three that share a face.
    The probability of sharing a face ought to be: \frac{{24}}{{56}} = \frac{3}{7}
    I first got that result when I was doing this problem first. But then I switched over and did my other approach.

    EDIT: I know why I made a mistake now. And Plato seems to have it right.
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  9. #9
    Grand Panjandrum
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainBlack View Post
    Number the vertices, assume the first vetrex choosen is vertex 1.

    Now draw up a contingency tree and work out the probabilities for the
    favourable leaves.

    Answer appears to be 20/42~=0.476

    RonL
    Miss-counted vertices, now I know the answer I do indeed get 3/7.

    RonL
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Cube probability-gash.jpg  
    Last edited by CaptainBlack; July 19th 2007 at 12:28 PM.
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  10. #10
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    I.E. the answer is \frac37

    Thanks so much for reply.
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