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Normal Distribution

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A Normal Distribution is the spread of information (such as product performance or demographics) where the most frequently occurring value is in the middle of the range and other probabilities tail off symmetrically in both directions. Normal distribution is graphically categorized by a bell-shaped curve, also known as a Gaussian distribution. For normally distributed data, the mean and median are very close and may be identical.

A normal distribution, also called Gaussian distribution by scientists (named after Carl Friedrich Gauss due to his rigorous application of the distribution to astronomical data (Havil, 2003)) is a probability distribution of great importance in many fields. It is a family of distributions of the same general form, differing in their location and scale parameters: the mean ("average") and standard deviation ("variability"), respectively. The standard normal distribution is the normal distribution with a mean of zero and a variance of one (the green curves in the plots to the right). It is often called the bell curve because the graph of its probability density resembles a bell curve.


Also see Wikipedia's page with graphics: Normal Distribution

And: Thoughts about Process Capability - Cp and Cpk which is based upon a 'Normal Distribution'.