:"For Eudaemons in mythology, see Daemon."

The Eudaemons were a small group headed by graduate physics students J. Doyne Farmer and Norman Packard at the University of California Santa Cruz in the late 1970s. The group's immediate objective was to find a way to beat roulette, but a loftier objective was to use the money made from roulette to fund a scientific community. The name of the group was inspired by the eudaimonism philosophy.

During a summer the two students started doing their own research on a roulette wheel which they had bought. Among the instruments which they used was a camera and an oscilloscope, to keep track of the motion of the roulette. Eventually they figured out a formula involving trigonometric functions and four variables, among them the period of rotation of the roulette and the period of rotation of the ball around the roulette.

Since the calculations were very complicated, they decided to build a computer customized for the purpose of being fed data about the roulette and the ball and to return a prediction of which of the roulette's octants the ball would fall on. The computer was concealable, designed to be invisible to an onlooker. It was small enough to fit inside a shoe. The input was by tapping the big toe on a micro-switch in the shoe. Then an electronic signal was relayed to a vibrotactile output system hidden behind the shirt, strapped to the chest, which had three solenoid actuators near the stomach which would indicate by vibrating either which of the eight octants of the roulette to place a bet on, or a ninth possibility: to not place a bet.

It took two years to develop the computerized system. By 1978 it was working and the group went to Las Vegas to make money at it. Eventually the system was split between two persons: an observer and a bettor. The observer would tap input signals with the foot, the bettor would receive output signals underneath his/her shirt. The average profit was 44% for every dollar. However, there were problems: in one case the insulation failed and the bettor received electric shocks from the solenoids. But she kept placing bets, so the observer, who in this case was Farmer, left the table, so that the bettor would be forced to leave as well. Afterwards it turned out that the solenoid had burned a hole into her skin. Some members of the group had already left because of trouble juggling the academic schedule with the Eudaemonics, but the burning incident caused the two leaders to disband the group. Collectively they had managed to make about $10,000.

As a science experiment, the group's objective was accomplished: to prove that there was a way of statistically predicting where a ball would fall in a roulette given some input data.

The Eudaemons were the feature of the book "The Eudaemonic Pie" by Thomas A Bass; the British version of this book was titled "The Newtonian Casino"

This scam is used in the episode No More Bets.


The story of the Eudaemons was featured on the History Channel, in an episode of the Breaking Vegas program.

See also

*Robert Shaw (physicist)

External links

* [ The Eudaemons]
* [ The Eudaemons' shoe computer]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Eudaemons — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Los Eudaemons eran un pequeño grupo encabezado por los estudiantes J. Doyne Farmer y Norman Packard graduados de Física por la Universidad de California Santa Cruz a fines de los años 1970. El objetivo inmediato del… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Daemon (mythology) — The words daemon, dæmon, are Latinized spellings of the Greek δαίμων (daimôn), [Daimons were the souls of men of the golden age acting as guardian deities. Entry [ bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0057%3Aentry… …   Wikipedia

  • Roulette — For other uses, see Roulette (disambiguation). Spinning Roulette wheel with ball …   Wikipedia

  • Norman Packard — Norman Harry Packard (born 1954 in Billings, Montana)[1] is a chaos theory physicist and one of the founders of the Prediction Company and ProtoLife. He is an alumnus of Reed College and the Univ …   Wikipedia

  • Chaos theory — This article is about chaos theory in Mathematics. For other uses of Chaos theory, see Chaos Theory (disambiguation). For other uses of Chaos, see Chaos (disambiguation). A plot of the Lorenz attractor for values r = 28, σ = 10, b = 8/3 …   Wikipedia

  • J. Doyne Farmer — Born 1952 U.S. Residence United States Nationality …   Wikipedia

  • Robert Shaw (physicist) — Robert Stetson Shaw is an American physicist who was part of Eudaemonic Enterprises in Santa Cruz in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In 1988 he was awarded a Macarthur Fellowship for his work in Chaos theory [The John D. And Catherine T.… …   Wikipedia

  • No More Bets — Infobox Television episode | Title = No More Bets Series = Season = 4 Episode = 22 Airdate = May 13, 2004 Writer = Dustin Lee Abraham, Andrew Lipsitz, Judith McCreary, Carol Mendelsohn and Naren Shankar Director = Richard J. Lewis Prev = Turn of… …   Wikipedia

  • The Eudaemonic Pie — is a 1985 book by American author Thomas A. Bass, about a group of gamblers (known as the Eudaemons) who in the 1970s designed and employed miniaturized computers, hidden in specially modified shoes, to help predict the outcome of casino roulette …   Wikipedia

  • Ruleta — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Una ruleta europea. La ruleta es un juego de azar típico de los casinos, cuyo nombre viene del término francés roulette, que significa rueda pequeña. Su uso como elemento de juego de azar, aún en configuraciones… …   Wikipedia Español

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.