A Greek Letter, Demystified

Science  29 Sep 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5488, pp. 2261
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5488.2261

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Random events such as coin flips and particle detections tend to follow a bell curve distribution. Sigma--the standard deviation--is related to the fatness of the curve and gives a handy way to quantify how far from the center of the distribution your results are.