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Pool table cushion elasticity

  1. Aug 12, 2007 #1
    Hey all,

    if a cue ball moving at a certain velocity collides with the side cushion generally the ball will not deflect at a nice angle as the ball would compress into the cushion due to the elasticity of the cushion and energy loss of the ball to the cushion would be reduced. Using Hooke's Law how do i calculate the energy loss of the cue ball if the initial velocity and the distance of compression into the cushion is known. Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 12, 2007 #2


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    you can't.
  4. Aug 12, 2007 #3


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    Hooke's law assumes perfect elasticity: no energy loss at all. You cannot calculate energy loss using Hooke's law
  5. Aug 12, 2007 #4


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    As a player, I can tell you that there is almost never any consistency from one section of rail to another. You also have to factor in the spin on the ball. Another important factor is how hard the ball impacts the rail; the harder it hits, the less angle of rebound there is. Really, all that you can do to figure out what happens is trial and error.
  6. Aug 12, 2007 #5


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    Dearly Missed

    Real life pool table dynamics is just one of those innumerable things that are too difficult to talk intelligently about (that is, use the language of maths).

    Have a beer and just enjoy the game, okay?
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