The BUFFON program was designed to simulate an experiment
in mathematical probability. The experiment is performed by randomly
dropping needles on a grid of equally spaced parallel lines. The
needles are all the same length which is exactly 1/2 the spacing
between the lines. After all the needles are dropped a count is
made of the number of needles which intersect any line. A given
needle may intersect at most one line, but most needles (about
2/3+) do not intersect any line. The total number of needles divided
by the number of intersecting needles approximates the number
Pi. This experiment is named after the French naturalist Count
Buffon (1707-1788) who dropped needles on a floor made of wooden
planks. The lines correspond to the cracks between the planks.
Buffon was trying to estimate the probability that a needle would
fall across or into a crack. The mathematically precise answer
is surprisingly related to Pi. The user can set the number of
needles and control various aspects of the experiment. This program
requires some form of graphics such as CGA or EGA or VGA hardware.
The program automatically adapts to the highest graphics resolution
of the hardware it finds.