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Chapter

Cover The Chemistry Maths Book

Probability and statistics  

This chapter introduces probability theory—the mathematical theory of statistics—that gives the theoretical models and analytical tools for the organization, interpretation, and analysis of statistical data. Probability theory is applied in chemistry for the description of the collective behaviour of very large numbers of particles in statistical mechanics, the quantum mechanical descriptions of changes of state and of rate processes, the physical interpretation of wave functions, and the enumeration of the ways of assembling basic chemical units to form large molecules. The chapter starts with a brief discussion on descriptive statistics. Then it tackles frequency and probability, as well as the combinations of probabilities. Furthermore, the discussion covers the binomial distribution. It describes permutations and combinations, as well as continuous distributions, then explains the Gaussian distribution. Lastly, it discusses the method of least squares.