**Random experiments, outcome and sample space**

In our day to day life, we perform many activities which have a fixed result no matter any number of times they are repeated. For example given any triangle, without knowing the three angles, we can definitely say that the sum of measure of angles is 180°.

We also perform many experimental activities, where the result may not be same, when they are repeated under identical conditions. For example, when a coin is tossed it may turn up a head or a tail, but we are not sure which one of these results will actually be obtained. Such experiments are called**random experiments**.

An experiment is called random experiment if it satisfies the following two conditions:

(i) It has more than one possible outcome.

(ii) It is not possible to predict the outcome in advance.

Check whether the experiment of tossing a die is random or not?

In this chapter, we shall refer the random experiment by experiment only unless stated otherwise.

**Outcomes and sample space**

A possible result of a random experiment is called its **outcome**.

Consider the experiment of rolling a die. The outcomes of this experiment are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6, if we are interested in the number of dots on the upper face of the die.

The set of outcomes {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6} is called the **sample space of the experiment**.

Thus, the set of all possible outcomes of a random experiment is called the sample space associated with the experiment. Sample space is denoted by the symbol S.

Each element of the sample space is called a **sample point**. In other words, each outcome of the random experiment is also called sample point.

**Example** Two coins (a one rupee coin and a two rupee coin) are tossed once. Find a sample space.

**Solution** Clearly the coins are distinguishable in the sense that we can speak of the first coin and the second coin. Since either coin can turn up Head (H) or Tail(T), the possible outcomes may be

Heads on both coins = (H,H) = HH

Head on first coin and Tail on the other = (H,T) = HT

Tail on first coin and Head on the other = (T,H) = TH

Tail on both coins = (T,T) = TT

Thus, the sample space is S = {HH, HT, TH, TT}

**Note:-** The outcomes of this experiment are ordered pairs of H and T. For the sake of simplicity the commas are omitted from the ordered pairs.

**Example** A coin is tossed. If it shows head, we draw a ball from a bag consisting of 3 blue and 4 white balls; if it shows tail we throw a die. Describe the sample space of this experiment.

**Solution** Let us denote blue balls by B_{1}, B_{2}, B_{3} and the white balls by W_{1}, W_{2}, W_{3}, W_{4}. Then a sample space of the experiment is

S = {HB_{1}, HB_{2}, HB_{3}, HW_{1}, HW_{2}, HW_{3}, HW_{4}, T_{1}, T_{2}, T_{3}, T_{4}, T_{5}, T_{6}}.

Here HB_{i} means head on the coin and ball B_{i} is drawn, HW_{i} means head on the coin and ball W_{i} is drawn. Similarly, T_{i} means tail on the coin and the number i on the die.

**Example** Consider the experiment in which a coin is tossed repeatedly until a head comes up. Describe the sample space.

**Solution** In the experiment head may come up on the first toss, or the 2nd toss, or the 3rd toss and so on till head is obtained. Hence, the desired sample space is

S= {H, TH, TTH, TTTH, TTTTH,…}