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Chapter The Poisson Probability Distribution In This Chapter u Describe the characteristics of a Poisson process u Calculate probabilities using the Poisson equation u Use the Poisson probability tables u Use Excel to calculate Poisson probabilities 10 u Use the Poisson equation to approximate the binomial equation Now that we have mastered the binomial probability distribution, we are ready to move on to the next discrete theoretical distribution, the Poisson. This probability distribution is named after Simeon Poisson, a French mathematician who developed the distribution during the early 1800s. The Poisson distribution is useful for calculating the probability that a cer- tain number of events will occur over a specific period of time. We could use this distribution to determine the likelihood that 10 customers will walk into a store during the next hour or that 2 car accidents will occur at a busy intersection this month. So let's grab some crêpes and croissants and learn about some French math.