Retrospection with a New Purpose: Applying the Laplace Distribution to Chemical Engineering Problems
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Originating from the late eighteenth century and well known in contemporary probability theory, the Laplace distribution seems to have penetrated only into certain segments of scientific and engineering endeavors. This paper indicates its potential of representing adequately the random character of some phenomena of chemical engineering interest, and its capability of offering an admissible option vis-à-vis the traditional normal (Gaussian) distribution. A concise description of underlying theory is followed by quantitative illustrations taken from the textbook literature, where interpretation of material in terms of the normal distribution is prescribed. Nonetheless, choice of the level of significance in goodness-of-fit tests determines whether the Laplace distribution is, indeed, a viable alternative to the normal
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