# Imagine the world's best/most powerful breaker on an endless pool table... how long does the cue ball travel?

#### muskyed

##### AzB Silver Member
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If your break cue hits a ton, pretty far.

#### JusticeNJ

##### Four Points/Steel Joints
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If your break cue hits a ton, pretty far.
I have just the cue for sale - it hits two tons now though. Tonflation.

#### telinoz

##### Registered
Brand new Simonis 860, no rails and whoever you think has the best/most powerful break... how long does the cue ball travel? I've asked this a few people around the pool halls and been given some wild answers... from 40 feet to 40 miles. What's your guess?
I guess the more important question is, did you fall on your keyboard when you made this username?

#### dquarasr

##### Registered
New personal best. This might be the first thread I’ve ever read by this poster and he/she is already on ignore. Buh-bye.

#### Cornerman

##### Cue Author...Sometimes
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Brand new Simonis 860, no rails and whoever you think has the best/most powerful break... how long does the cue ball travel? I've asked this a few people around the pool halls and been given some wild answers... from 40 feet to 40 miles. What's your guess?
Are we ignoring gravity, which will make the ball drop once it get off the table at 1/2 g t^2? If we don't ignore gravity, then then when the ball clears the other end of the table, it will fall due to gravity. At 32 ft/s^2, the ball will hit the ground in about 0.4seconds. If the ball leaves the table at, say , 30 mph horizontally (the cueball slows down before ever getting to the end of the table), then that means the cueball travels about 17 ft or se before it hits the ground, ignoring air drag. If we don't ignore air drag, then you have to add the air drag force on a nice, non-stitched cueball, which decreases the 17'.

Now, if you're ignoring gravity and drag coefficient, then you're into a Physics 101 exam, which doesn't ever represent reality. If you don't ignore gravity, but want to know how far the cueball will roll, then you have to define the material and topography of whatever the cueball is rolling on.

Edit: I missed that you made this more goofy with an unlimited length of table. Then it’s just the initial velocity and the table resistance.

I can't believe I entertained you on this, but I'm on a boring call.

Freddie <~~~ someone check my math

Last edited:

#### Bob Jewett

##### AZB Osmium Member
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Let's assume 30MPH for the break -- a few players can reach that with some control.

Simonis has the equivalent friction of an uphill slope of 1 in 100 or maybe 1/120 on a brand new cloth. (This is easy to measure from tournament videos.)

A ball moving 30MPH has the speed of a ball dropped from a height of 30 feet, unless I slipped a decimal. Multiply that height by the slope factor of 100 to get 3000 feet. Or 3600 on brand new cloth.

This ignores wind resistance, so the test is best done in a vacuum.

2 X 1/2 way.

There, I finally beat Bob Jewett to a mathematical answer.

#### kling&allen

##### AzB Gold Member
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I checked with ChatGPT and it estimated 20 to 30 feet for a 25mph hit. I think that estimate is pretty low.

From OpenAI:

The distance a cue ball would travel if struck at 25 mph would depend on several factors such as the type of table surface, the ball's initial trajectory, the presence of other balls on the table, and the level of friction and air resistance.

However, as a rough estimate, on a standard billiard table with a smooth, level surface, a cue ball struck at 25 mph might travel approximately 20 to 30 feet before coming to a stop, assuming no other balls are present on the table and there is no significant air resistance. This is just a rough estimate and actual distances may vary widely based on the specific conditions.

#### Bob Jewett

##### AZB Osmium Member
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BTW, carom cloth can be a lot faster. I've seen a slope factor of 200, which would give over a mile of travel.

#### Bob Jewett

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.... However, as a rough estimate, on a standard billiard table with a smooth, level surface, a cue ball struck at 25 mph might travel approximately 20 to 30 feet before coming to a stop, assuming no other balls are present on the table and there is no significant air resistance. This is just a rough estimate and actual distances may vary widely based on the specific conditions.
It seems we are safe from AI for a while when it comes to pool tables.

#### kling&allen

##### AzB Gold Member
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It seems we are safe from AI for a while when it comes to pool tables.

Yes! Dr Dave has the correct data that can be used to arrive at a better estimate

#### garczar

##### AzB Silver Member
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Jewett probably had to bust out his vintage slip-stick to figure this one out. Or maybe a HP pocket computer. I really thing the op was asking a comical rhetorical question. Looks like he landed some fish.

#### Rocket354

##### AzB Silver Member
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Let's assume 30MPH for the break -- a few players can reach that with some control.

Simonis has the equivalent friction of an uphill slope of 1 in 100 or maybe 1/120 on a brand new cloth. (This is easy to measure from tournament videos.)

A ball moving 30MPH has the speed of a ball dropped from a height of 30 feet, unless I slipped a decimal. Multiply that height by the slope factor of 100 to get 3000 feet. Or 3600 on brand new cloth.

This ignores wind resistance, so the test is best done in a vacuum.

I just went to some online calculators and 30mph is 44ft/s and dropping something from 30 ft is 43.94ft/s so you are essentially correct.

I am quite shocked the answer is that large. 3000ft? I feel like if I hit a shot at break speed it will go back and forth maybe 4 (?) times the length of the table. It's a 9' table so 8 1/3' per cycle means 34 maybe even call it 40 ft total travel. Even if I only break at 20mph, that is the equivalent of dropping something from a height of about 14 ft. Mimicking your calculation, that implies the ball would roll 1400 ft? Do the rails really absorb so much energy that if they weren't there my break shot speed distance would go from 40ft to 1400 ft? That seems...implausible. But there are 4X (or even 5X) reductions in force so I can't say it isn't true.

#### Fatboy

##### AzB Silver Member
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Brand new Simonis 860, no rails and whoever you think has the best/most powerful break... how long does the cue ball travel? I've asked this a few people around the pool halls and been given some wild answers... from 40 feet to 40 miles. What's your guess?

#### hang-the-9

##### AzB Silver Member
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I wonder if one could catapult a cue ball from California to Japan across the Pacific Ocean given the right catapult. Also, I wonder if a Patriot Missile could shoot down that cue ball before it reaches Asia. These questions are at least as important as that in the original post.

Needless to say, I'm talking about a red circle cue ball here.

I don't think a Patriot Missile can lock on as small of a target as a cue ball. We would very likely need to see some pretty classified specs on the thing to find out.

sjm

#### kling&allen

##### AzB Gold Member
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I just went to some online calculators and 30mph is 44ft/s and dropping something from 30 ft is 43.94ft/s so you are essentially correct.

I am quite shocked the answer is that large. 3000ft? I feel like if I hit a shot at break speed it will go back and forth maybe 4 (?) times the length of the table. It's a 9' table so 8 1/3' per cycle means 34 maybe even call it 40 ft total travel. Even if I only break at 20mph, that is the equivalent of dropping something from a height of about 14 ft. Mimicking your calculation, that implies the ball would roll 1400 ft? Do the rails really absorb so much energy that if they weren't there my break shot speed distance would go from 40ft to 1400 ft? That seems...implausible. But there are 4X (or even 5X) reductions in force so I can't say it isn't true.

Using Dr Dave's numbers and the following equation, I get 386m, or 1266 feet for a 25mph break.

d = v^2 / (g * (r+k))

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#### Patrick Johnson

##### Fish of the Day
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There was a post (thread?) several years ago about somebody taking the rails off their table and whacking the CB out of their garage and along the driveway. I don't remember how far it traveled, and I can't find the post/thread now.

pj
chgo

#### hang-the-9

##### AzB Silver Member
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There was a post (thread?) several years ago about somebody taking the rails off their table and whacking the CB out of their garage and along the driveway. I don't remember how far it traveled, and I can't find the post/thread now.

pj
chgo

But, I mean.. why would you even need to start at a pool table? Just shoot it off any table, or a couch, or off a mat, or anything.

#### Bob Jewett

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There was a post (thread?) several years ago about somebody taking the rails off their table and whacking the CB out of their garage and along the driveway. I don't remember how far it traveled, and I can't find the post/thread now.

pj
chgo
A description of the experiment is in Byrne's Advanced Technique book. Byrne (his table and his garage), Shamos, Annigoni, Simon and Jewett were the experimenters. The balls -- including ivory -- landed on the driveway within a few yards of the end of the table.