The bulletin of mathematical biophysics

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 237–244 | Cite as

On the subnormal variance in the counts of randomly distributed particles: I. Approximate treatment of the three-dimensional case and discussion of experiments

  • Hissel de Vries


The question is raised concerning the possible causes of abnormally small standard deviations found in counting samples in which particles are distributed at random (e.g., blood cells, fat globules in milk, etc.). The effect of discarding abnormal samples is discounted inasmuch as small standard deviations occur even when all samples are counted. An approximation method is used to calculate the effect of finite particle size, of known repulsive forces between particles and of convection currents. This calculation shows that neither finite size nor the known repulsive forces are sufficient to account for the observed abnormality of standard deviation, but that convection currents can possibly account for it. The possible presence of long-range repulsive forces cannot, however, be excluded.


Repulsive Force Small Standard Deviation Counting Chamber Convection Current Abnormal Sample 
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Copyright information

© University of Chicago 1953

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hissel de Vries
    • 1
  1. 1.Rijks UniversityGroningenNetherlands

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