GALTON BOARD - a piece of history

    Our "Galton Board" has already quite a long history.
    Some dates, related events and names are listed below.

  • 1980 - At the "Central Physics Laboratory" of the Institute of Physics, Warsaw University of Technology (Politechnika Warszawska) there exists an exercise "Study of the properties of Gaussian distribution using the Galton board" described by Jerzy Garbarczyk . The board itself is equipped with a single ball and its position after passing by the board have to be noted with a pen by the student. Mechanical model
  • 1983 - Together with Mr Andrzej Kozlowski we are preparing a new mechanical version of the board, which gives the possibility to obtain a visual result of the simulation - a distribution of the final position of dropping balls. (There was in our plans to make an electrical contacts between the balls and the pins and for this reason each pin was isolated from the board.) Mr Kozlowski has made the board with a lot of personal invention e.g. a tricky "ball pump". This board is working till now at the laboratory and is shown in the photo here.
  • 1987 - Together with my son Boguslaw Pluta (a schoolboy in Dubna) we are preparing a computer version of the "board", which was for the first time presented during the conference of physics teaching MIKROFIZ'87 organised by Mr Marek Peryt at the Instytute of Physics. Our computer code was written in BASIC for the AMSTRAD-6128 computer (128KB of RAM without the hard disc). This program was used in the Laboratory during 10 years (till 1997). In the computer version I introduce the "central limit theorem", Monte-Carlo methods, binomial, Gaussian and Poissonian distributions, graphical comparison of generated and theoretical distributions etc. The information taken from "Introduction to Physics" handbook by A.K. Wroblewskie and J.A. Zakrzewski is a valuable help for us.
  • 1995 - Adam Wasaznik - a schoolboy of the secondary school Nb 40 in Warsaw - is making a demonstrative version of the board for the PC computer. His program is written in PASCAL. This version I am using in my lectures for students.
  • 1997 - Elric Peyre student of the third year of Ecole des Mines de Nantes in France during his 3 month training in Poland is making a new version of the board for the PC. His program is written in C++ and in three language versions: French, Polish and English. This program is currently used at the Student Physics Laboratory of the Institute of Physics.
  • 1998 - Zbyszek Jedrzejewski-Szmek a schoolboy of the XIV secondary school in Warsaw is making an Internet version Java-Applet of the board. This program is still under construction but the working version is accessible already (see: Simulation...) I will be grateful for all the comments and suggestions concerning this program.
  • 1998 - .... As I have found very fruitful my cooperation with the younger colleagues from different schools I see also very interesting to extend this cooperation by the creation of the Internet Physics Laboratory with the participation of the young people from Poland and from abroad.