The perfect billiards break
February 3, 2014 7:45 AM   Subscribe

What would happen if a cue ball struck a rack of 15 perfectly round, frictionless billiard balls, exactly head-on?
posted by escabeche (31 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
Excellent! I have occasionally wondered about this.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:49 AM on February 3


The 5 ball rises gently upward into the air at around one inch per second, until it comes to a gradual stop nine inches above the surface of the table. If touched it will immediately fall and give the toucher an intense sensation of nostalgia.
posted by theodolite at 7:56 AM on February 3 [23 favorites]


How did they get the frictionless balls to stop moving?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:59 AM on February 3 [7 favorites]


How did they get the 8 ball in the wrong spot?
posted by caution live frogs at 8:00 AM on February 3 [1 favorite]


The table has friction?
posted by oceanjesse at 8:00 AM on February 3


This will be of immense help in modeling my barnyard full of spherical chickens.
posted by localroger at 8:03 AM on February 3 [12 favorites]


Al is using Ziggy to project holographic guidelines that only Sam can see.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:05 AM on February 3 [3 favorites]


I always thought this was a function of how many beers the shooter had.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:06 AM on February 3 [1 favorite]


Excellent! I have occasionally never wondered about this.
posted by odinsdream at 8:07 AM on February 3 [3 favorites]


I always thought I sucked at billiards breaks. Apparently, instead, I'm awesome.
posted by sonic meat machine at 8:11 AM on February 3 [2 favorites]


"What would happen..."

Well, if we were playing one pocket and I spotted the author 9-5, I'd empty his wallet. But I would pay for the shortstop's time per proper pool-playin' etiquette.
posted by CincyBlues at 8:19 AM on February 3 [1 favorite]


I assume that the players are also spherical.
posted by thelonius at 8:21 AM on February 3 [4 favorites]


How did they get the 8 ball in the wrong spot?

They aren't racking to play 8-ball.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:21 AM on February 3 [2 favorites]


It's so cute that they went to all this effort and didn't even think to take the pockets into account.
posted by aught at 8:23 AM on February 3


Pockets bring us a step closer to the curse of dimensionality!
posted by oceanjesse at 8:29 AM on February 3


It's so cute that they went to all this effort and didn't even think to take the pockets into account.

Or the bumpers.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 8:29 AM on February 3 [1 favorite]


Ohh, and that's a mess.
posted by curious nu at 8:33 AM on February 3


Nice shape
posted by Flashman at 8:50 AM on February 3


Well it's easy to figure if you don't put any English on it.
posted by ceribus peribus at 8:54 AM on February 3 [1 favorite]


I like this new CGI direction that Scorsese is taking the Color of Money sequel.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:22 AM on February 3


Thorzdad: "They aren't racking to play 8-ball."

Whatever you say Thorzdad, sure, but I see a rack of balls I think "pool" not billiards and in my head the 8 is in the wrong place. Guess that's what I get for being first introduced to this type of game as a small kid in a bar in Montana.
posted by caution live frogs at 9:30 AM on February 3


Al is using Ziggy to project holographic guidelines that only Sam can see.

Holy shit this is probably the only specific memory I have of Quantum Leap (well, that and a time Sam got trapped in, like, a tanning room or something) but I think about it every single time I play pool.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:41 AM on February 3


I see a rack of balls I think "pool" not billiards
Real billiards doesn't have an eight.

So I guess since there's no friction, the balls don't roll either...
posted by MtDewd at 10:06 AM on February 3


Those are all terrible breaks. I don't know anyone who attempts to strike the lead ball directly on the front/center.
posted by ctmf at 10:33 AM on February 3


Next up: modelling tipping one spherical cow in a vacuum into another 15...
posted by WaylandSmith at 10:35 AM on February 3


Holly coincidence, Batman - I was out playing, and just came back to check the blue. Those of you who always talk about setting a game up - you know who you are.

Also this type of simulation is worthless, as it doesn't account for the players being drunk, and in a poor state of mind overall.
posted by Dr Dracator at 11:15 AM on February 3 [1 favorite]


MtDewd: "So I guess since there's no friction, the balls don't roll either..."

Good point.

And friction actually describes the interaction between two surfaces, so technically it's "frictionless balls and table surface".

Obviously they stop because of Van der Waal's forces, after atmospheric drag slows them.

What a drag.

No, really: that's a helluva lotta drag! Where was this modelled, Jupiter?
posted by IAmBroom at 11:16 AM on February 3 [1 favorite]


who's going to do the simulation on the exact method for hitting the rack so all the balls end up in the pocket?
posted by bitdamaged at 11:19 AM on February 3 [1 favorite]


That was cool. Thanks, escabeche.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:46 AM on February 3


Remember when we did this with that billiards games for the Apple II?
posted by clvrmnky at 3:35 PM on February 3 [1 favorite]


The 10th Regiment of Foot: "How did they get the frictionless balls to stop moving?"

beer
posted by krinklyfig at 11:55 PM on February 3


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