# [Bell Historians] 'Bell weights' A mathematician responds

Andrew Bull andrew.bull at t...
Wed Sep 29 14:10:32 BST 2004

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-----Original Message-----
From: Andrew Aspland [mailto:aaspland at y...]
Sent: 28 September 2004 17:12
To: bellhistorians at yahoogroups.com
Subject: [Bell Historians] 'Bell weights' A mathematician responds

Glad we have cleared up the "quarter of a quarter" problem. Assuming that
bell weights randomly end in any number of pounds from 0 to 27 then there is
a 4/28 = 1/7 probability that the weight will end in 0,7,14 or 28. This is
a reasonable assumption given teh range of weights we are considering but
would not be true for very small bells.

For a ring of six to all end in such a number the probability would be 1/7^6
which is 0.000008499 in other words less than a 1 in 100 000 chance - be
VERY suspisious. Even for a ring of four this is less than a 1 in 2000
chance.

For all six bells to end in 0 (Shaftsbury) the probability would be 1/28^6
which is 0.000000002 or around a 1 in 500 000 000 chance. Statistically I
do not believe that Shaftsbury all ended in 0.

For any two bells out of eight to end in 0 is a less than 4% chance - worth
checking!

Andrew

Try this one for size then - London, St Dunstan's, Stepney. In 1952 bells 1,
4, 8 were recast, and the remainder retuned by Whitechapel. Chris Pickford
says that Whitechapel's records indicate that all the weights of the bells -
which are exact - end in "0", except for the 4th and the 8th.

I believe that Shaftesbury Holy Trinity were also retuned and weighed by
Whitechapel. Perhaps Nigel Taylor could re-check the records for these two
sometime, before Mr. Aspland's calculator explodes trying to calculate the
probabilities involved?

Andrew Bull

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