# Definition:Probability Theory/Historical Note

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## Historical Note on Probability Theory

The discipline of **probability theory** is suggested by some sources to be a creation shared between Pierre de Fermat and Blaise Pascal.

Their intent was to describe certain games of chance and to calculate various probabilities.

They developed the fundamental principles in a series of letters in the year $1654$.

The field was developed significantly by Jacob Bernoulli, the results of his research appearing in his posthumous *Ars Conjectandi* of $1713$.

Modern probability theory is more than just calculating the chance of getting $m$ heads while tossing $n$ coins.

It is used to study problems in fields as diverse as economics, genetics, sociology, astronomy and physics.

## Sources

- 1937: Eric Temple Bell:
*Men of Mathematics*... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $\text{IV}$: The Prince of Amateurs - 1937: Eric Temple Bell:
*Men of Mathematics*... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $\text{V}$: "Greatness and Misery of Man" - 1937: Eric Temple Bell:
*Men of Mathematics*... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $\text{VIII}$: Nature or Nurture? - 1965: A.M. Arthurs:
*Probability Theory*... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $2$: Probability and Discrete Sample Spaces: $2.1$ Introduction