May

14

I notice all three major stock indices begin with a "1", as Benford's Law says they might tend to:

I N D U     1 3 3 2 6 . 2 2
S P X         1 5 0 5 . 8 5
N D X         1 8 9 8 . 7 9

Philip J. McDonnell notes:

A quick glance at a slide rule shows that the difference between the number 1 and the number 2 takes up about a third of the scale. The slide rule scale is logarithmic and thus enables adding the lengths of the logs to facilitate multiplication. If the underlying process of any stochastic process is multiplicative as opposed to additive, then the process will follow a lognormal distribution. So if the process is lognormal then one should not be surprised that the proportion of 1-digits is one third.

George Zachar adds:

The Wolfram Demonstrations Project is a new, cool, free math visualization tool. I've run it on both Windows and OS X. 

Gibbons Burke adds:

Wolfram seems to have borrowed some features (especially the parameter sliders) from Graphing Calculator, which was distributed free with every Mac since January 1994 (though no longer — Apple has its own now). Version 3 is available for free and it is enjoyable to play with. 


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