Plus Advent Calendar Door #18: Infinite monkey business

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Monkey typing

It's just a matter of time...

The idea that an infinite number of monkeys typing at random on an infinite number of typewriters will eventually produce the complete works of Shakespeare apparently dates from 1913, and has appeared repeatedly in popular culture ever since.

But how can we be so certain that they really will, and how long do we have to wait until they do? David Spiegelhalter worked out the probabilities to help the BBC with a Horizon programme about infinity. You can see the results in this article.

Return to the Plus advent calendar 2019.