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While working on the interplay between thermodynamics and information theory, physicist Juan Parrondo realized that a system of losing games could actually produce a winning result. And it isn’t just by playing them in a highly-strategic way; it’s even possible for two guaranteed losers to generate a winner when played randomly.
At the heart of that counterintuitive conclusion is a test of our understanding of probability and relationships between events. From the simplest money-based games and coin flip scenarios to theoretical perpetual motion machines like the Brownian ratchet and flashing Brownian ratchet, Parrondo’s Paradox explores elements of game theory that are inspiring research in fields like biogenetics, finance, and evolutionary biology.