a limiting form of the binomial probability distribution for small values of the probability of success and for large numbers of trials: particularly useful in industrial quality-control work and in radiation and bacteriological problems.
1920-25; named after S. D. Poisson (1781-1840), French mathematician and physicist
British Dictionary definitions for poisson-distribution
(statistics) a distribution that represents the number of events occurring randomly in a fixed time at an average rate λ; symbol P0(λ). For large n and small p with np = λ it approximates to the binomial distribution Bi(n,p)
(pwä-sôɴ') A probability distribution which arises when counting the number of occurrences of a rare event in a long series of trials. It is named after its discoverer, French mathematician and physicist Siméon Denis Poisson (1781-1840).