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On The Pool Table

  1. Apr 17, 2004 #1
    On The Pool Table ...

    At the break where is the greatest velocity of the cue ball? At the instant it comes off the stick or the moment it hits the balls?

    The question here is is it better to shoot the cue ball at the line or to pull the cue ball back and increase the distance to the balls?

    One argument is that the ball is never faster than the instant it comes off the cue. The other argument is that the ball is accelerating once it comes off the cue stick and that the velocity increases until it hits the balls.

    Which argument is correct?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 17, 2004 #2


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    Once the cue is no longer in contact with the ball, it longer imparts a force on it. Without a force, the ball cannot accelerate. The ball just decelerates due to the friction of the felt.

    The logic in choosing where you want to place the cue for a break has nothing to do with this question, though. You want to place it where you can hold the cue in such a way to deliver the most power with the most control -- it's a trade-off. Generally, the further into the table, the less power you'll be able to deliver, and the closer to the edge, the less control you'll have.

    - Warren
  4. Apr 17, 2004 #3
    We can hit the ball with the same amount of the control whether it is at the line or against the rail.

    Thanks for the reply chroot... You mentioned, "the further into the table, the less power you'll be able to deliver." I don't understand. It seems to me the closer you are, to the balls you are about to hit with the cue ball, the more power you will be able to deliver. And the further away you are the less power you will deliver.

    Where am I off?
  5. Apr 17, 2004 #4


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    Depends on your strike --- topspin might give a little "acceleration" (conversion of spin energy to translation along the table), but the energy of the strike (translational plus whatever spin) is from the cue stroke.
  6. Apr 17, 2004 #5


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    The difference is largely in your stance. The farther the ball is from the edge, the more you must stretch out of position to make your stroke. It is much the same as with determining where to place your guide hand (the one the cue stick slides through); closer to the ball gives you beter controll, further away allows more power.
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