How likely is Buffon's needle to land near a 1-dimensional Sierspinski gasket? A power estimate via Fourier analysis.

Analysis Seminar
Wednesday, November 18, 2009 - 2:00pm for 1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Skiles 269
Matt Bond – Michigan State University
Brett Wick
It is well known that a needle thrown at random has zero probability of intersecting any given irregular planar set of finite 1-dimensional Hausdorff measure. Sharp quantitative estimates for fine open coverings of such sets are still not known, even for such sets as the Sierpinski gasket and the 4-corner Cantor set (with self-similarities 1/4 and 1/3). In 2008, Nazarov, Peres, and Volberg provided the sharpest known upper bound for the 4-corner Cantor set. Volberg and I have recently used the same ideas to get a similar estimate for the Sierpinski gasket. Namely, the probability that Buffon's needle will land in a 3^{-n}-neighborhood of the Sierpinski gasket is no more than C_p/n^p, where p is any small enough positive number.