What is Billiards: Definition and 24 Discussions

Cue sports (sometimes written cuesports), also known as billiard sports,
are a wide variety of games of skill generally played with a cue stick, which is used to strike billiard balls and thereby cause them to move around a cloth-covered billiards table bounded by elastic bumpers known as cushions.

Historically, the umbrella term was billiards. While that familiar name is still employed by some as a generic label for all such games, the word's usage has splintered into more exclusive competing meanings in various parts of the world. For example, in British and Australian English, billiards usually refers exclusively to the game of English billiards, while in American and Canadian English it is sometimes used to refer to a particular game or class of games, or to all cue games in general, depending upon dialect and context. In colloquial usage, the term billiards may be used to refer to games such as pool, snooker, or Russian pyramid.
There are three major subdivisions of games within cue sports:

Carom billiards, referring to games played on tables without pockets, typically 10 feet in length, including straight rail, balkline, one-cushion carom, three-cushion billiards, artistic billiards and four-ball
Pool, covering numerous pocket billiards games generally played on six-pocket tables of 7-, 8-, 9-, or 10-foot length, including among others eight-ball (the world's most widely played cue sport), nine-ball (the dominant professional game), ten-ball, straight pool (the formerly dominant pro game), one-pocket, and bank pool
Snooker, English billiards and Russian pyramid, games played on a billiards table with six pockets called a snooker table (which has dimensions just under 12 ft by 6 ft), all of which are classified entirely separately from pool based on a separate historical development, as well as a separate culture and terminology that characterize their play.There are other variants that make use of obstacles and targets, and table-top games played with disks instead of balls.
Billiards has a long and rich history stretching from its inception in the 15th century, to the wrapping of the body of Mary, Queen of Scots, in her billiard table cover in 1586, through its many mentions in the works of Shakespeare, including the famous line "let's to billiards" in Antony and Cleopatra (1606–07), and through the many famous enthusiasts of the sport such as: Mozart, Louis XIV of France, Marie Antoinette, Immanuel Kant, Napoleon, Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, George Washington, French president Jules Grévy, Charles Dickens, George Armstrong Custer, Theodore Roosevelt, Lewis Carroll, W.C. Fields, Babe Ruth, Bob Hope, and Jackie Gleason.

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  1. T

    B F=ma Applied to a Billiards Cue

    Many years ago, I was asked if the weight of a billiards cue matters when breaking a rack of billiards balls. I.e. does a heavier cue apply more force to the cue ball. (typically the range of a break cue is 18-25 oz.) So, probably obviously, I used the formula F=MA as an explanation. RecentlyI...
  2. Kaushik

    Energy conversions in a game of billiards

    Summary: When we hit the cue ball which energy is being converted into the kinetic energy of the ball? When we hit the cue ball which energy is being converted into the kinetic energy of the ball?
  3. aatari

    Is Ignoring the Y-Component in Billiard Ball Collision Calculations Correct?

    Could someone please have a look at my solution and tell me if it makes sense. Although I am able to get the initial velocity that the question asked for, however the fact that I did not incorporate the y-component which is 1.2sin30 degrees into the solution makes me doubtful. If I do need to...
  4. P

    I Calculating Hamiltonian matrix elements in a chaotic system

    The system in which I tried to calculate the Hamiltonian matrix was a particle in a stadium (Billiard stadium). And I used the principle where we take a rectangle around the stadium in which the parts outside the stadium have a very high potential V0. We know the wave function of a rectangular...
  5. P

    A ball struck by a cue in billiards with English goes straight at first....

    Hi, let me ask probably dumb questions to physics experts... Why does the cue ball goes almost straight when its right (or left) side is struck by a cue (right English)? This is quite different from when a ball hits another ball, in which case the ball goes almost perpendicular from the contact...
  6. S

    Elastic collision in 2-dimensions

    Homework Statement A 2.0 kg ball moving with a speed of 3.0 m/s hits, elastically, an identical stationary ball. If the first ball moves away with angle 30° to the original path, determine: a. the speed of the first ball after the collision. b. the speed and direction of the second ball after...
  7. P

    Having trouble understanding General moment

    On the website http://www.real-world-physics-problems.com/physics-of-billiards.html they take this equation ∑Mg = IG∝ where ∝ = -agx/r for the rotation of a rigid body where there is no slipping They then change the equation to F⋅(h-r) = IG(-agx/r) why is ∑MG = F⋅(h-r) when ∝= -agx/r?
  8. C

    Exploring Chaotic Billiards: A Simulation and Analysis

    What am I trying to do? I'm trying to implement a simulation of a chaotic billiard system, following the algorithm in this excerpt. How am I trying it? Using numpy and matplotlib, I implemented the following code What is the problem? When calculating phi_new, the equation has two solutions...
  9. JuanC97

    The physics of billiards. (Describing the motion)

    A. The problem: (If you want the short version just read the underlined statements) I need to describe the motion of a cue ball over the cloth of a billiard table. For rule, I can't use equations for rotational motion or 'Work and Energy theorems'. I have some ideas but I'm not sure about the...
  10. B

    Analysis of Billiards Ball Motion Following a Horizontal Queue Impact

    [b]1. Encountered with cue to a massive billiards ball, which is initially at rest, see figure uploaded. The ball has radius R and mass M. The queue hits with force F horizontally into the bale height h above the table, and the shock lasts a very short time Δt. It is reported that the moment of...
  11. MathematicalPhysicist

    Chaotic quantum billiards on a torus.

    Hi, I want to do a similar statistics analysis as in the next paper: http://www.phy.bris.ac.uk/people/Berry_mv/the_papers/Berry340.pdf But the boundary conditions are on a two dimensioanl torus, so a solution will be of the form u(R)=\sum_{j=1}^{\infty} \sum_{m,n=0}^{\infty} (A_{mn}...
  12. B

    Help is needed with physics of billiards

    Homework Statement three billiard balls are arranged in an equilateral triangle formation labeled A, B, and C. the impulse which the cue imparts to the cue ball is a given, J, the angles at which the three balls will travel(depart from the stationary arrangement) can be easily found. i won't...
  13. P

    Billiards - Predicting Optimal Trajectories?

    Is there a program code or game or applet that will allow me to predict.. basically, the initial and standard state of the table. Say, I give it initial positions. Given the angle and magnitude of the cue ball, it should tell me what the final positions of each balls are. Which brings me to...
  14. L

    Can Rotational Energy be Transmitted from Cueball to Object Ball in Billiards?

    Hello everyone, this seems to be my very first post on this forum. To some it might not seem like a reason enough for registering, but I do have a question bugging me and where better to ask than here. So in billiards games, taking in consideration an approximated fastest shot of 30 mph...
  15. R

    Billiards rotational friction (side spin)

    Hey all, not sure if this is the right place to post this, I apologise if it is not. I've created a basic Billiards simulation but there's a type of friction I lack with regards to ball rotation. Using an orthonormal basis to give an orientation: the surface of the Billiards table is aligned...
  16. R

    Rolling Billiards Ball: Applying friction (Computer simulation)

    Greetings to all I apologise if this has already come up before, I found many related topics on these forums but nothing dealing with my specific problem (providing it is due to a physics error and not a programming one). I'm currently in the midst of programming the physics part of a...
  17. K

    Is it Possible to Transfer All Momentum in Billiards?

    Hello, i an new and i need help with two questions. 1) In billiards(pool), is it possible for the cue ball, when struck, to stop and transfer all the momentum to the ball it hit? If yes, why does it stop?? 2) Calculate the kinetic energy of Staten Island ( a city in new york) and compare it...
  18. D

    Ergodicity of typical billiards

    I'm trying to find the papers where a rather dramatic result on billiard systems was proved: for 'typical' perturbations away from an integrable billiard, the system becomes ergodic. Even a paper mentioning such a result would be good start - all I have to go on at the moment are names given...
  19. J

    Billiards Ball Collision Analysis

    Homework Statement 2 identical biliards balls collde after a glancing collision determine the speed of the other ball, Homework Equations MaVa + MbVb = MaVa' + MbVb' ? The Attempt at a Solution is this just as simple as the momentum formula before and after, or am I forgetting somthing...
  20. E

    Edge Height of Billiard Table for No Reaction to Ball Impact

    Homework Statement Show that the edge (cushion) of a billiard table should be at a height of 7/10 of the diameter of the billiard ball in order that no reaction occurs between the table surface and the ball when the ball strikes the cushion. Homework Equations The Attempt at a...
  21. S

    Explain the 90 degree rule in Billiards

    Every pool shot, that does not have a spin or anything crazy done to it, always hits and moves away at a 90 degree angle. How can I prove this mathematically?
  22. A

    What is the Solution for Improving Cue Delivery in Billiards?

    Billiards is a popular game with plenty of physics. Unfortunately, because it is only a game, no one has bothered to invent a relatively simple device (compared to all the other physics devices out there) that would substantially help one become better. So I have no choice but to take on the...
  23. Z

    Find H for Cue Ball Strike to Not Slide: Billiards Problem

    Good pool players say that it is possible to strike a cue ball with the cue stick held horizontal to the table ina a way that the ball does not slide. If the cue ball has a radius R, a mass M and is struck a distance H above the centerline, find H for this circumstance to occur. I'm not...
  24. N

    Determining V and Angular Velocity for Billiards Ball Rolling with Slipping

    I have started this billiards, and am very confused by one thing. The ball has a mass of M, radius R, and mement of inertia about center of mass I=2/5MR2 . The ball is struck in the center and slides with a initial velocity. Here is what I am having trouble with, if you could give me a hint to...