Published in Q. Jl R. astr. Soc.
(1979), **20**, 138-152

# PRACTICAL STATISTICS FOR ASTRONOMERS:
I. DEFINITIONS, THE NORMAL DISTRIBUTION, DETECTION OF SIGNAL

*J. V. Wall*

Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory, Cavendish
Laboratory, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 oHE

**SUMMARY.** This is the first of a short series
of articles presenting some
statistics which may be of use to astronomers. It contains
definitions, a summary of the best-loved probability functions, a
discussion of the Normal Distribution, and some consideration of
signal detection with particular reference to this distribution.

**Table of Contents**

- INTRODUCTION

- DEFINITIONS

- THE NORMAL (GAUSSIAN) DISTRIBUTION

- DETECTION OF SIGNAL

- REFERENCES