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

#### Patrick Johnson

##### Fish of the Day
Silver Member
A pool ball ... loses roughly 75% of its energy (50% of its speed) each time it makes fullish contact with a cushion.
So to go 5 lengths you have to hit it at enough speed to go 16 table lengths (133 feet) without rails?

pj
chgo

Silver Member
far out

#### L.S. Dennis

##### Well-known member
It seems we are safe from AI for a while when it comes to pool tables.
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.
You'd have to resurrect Wade Crane to really put this to the acid test!

#### tomatoshooter

##### Well-known member
Chuck Norris once gave the Ghost the break.

#### Bob Jewett

##### AZB Osmium Member
Staff member
Gold Member
Silver Member
So to go 5 lengths you have to hit it at enough speed to go 16 table lengths (133 feet) without rails?

pj
chgo
It's possible to work backwards:
off the fourth rail (starting the 5th length) with 8 diamonds of energy
into the fourth rail with 32 diamonds of energy
off the third rail with 32+8 diamonds of energy = 40
into the third rail with 160 diamonds of energy
off the second rail with 160+8 diamonds of energy (168)
into the second rail with 672 diamonds of energy
off the first rail with 672+8 = 680 diamonds of energy
into the first rail with 2720 diamonds of energy
shot from the line with 2720+6 diamonds of energy -- about half a mile

That's going on 3000 feet, but try the same arithmetic with an energy loss of 77% or 73% instead of 75% and things change quite a bit.

#### Mobiker

##### Active member
It seems we are safe from AI for a while when it comes to pool tables.
Not if justnumb can help it!

#### straightline

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Lol. Wish I knew the rest of that story.

#### markjames

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
a few years back and my post was poorly
worded and i got a lot of ridicule like this
op

my gut said the ball could travel from
amsterdam billiards on 11th steeet
to society billiards on 21st street

#### zkzkzk

##### New member
a few years back and my post was poorly
worded and i got a lot of ridicule like this
op

my gut said the ball could travel from
amsterdam billiards on 11th steeet
to society billiards on 21st street
It was a genuine question that nobody in my circles could answer. Appreciated very much that some people took the time to delve into it and come up with sensible answers. But it's a toxic place.
All I know it the cue ball goes quite a long ways across the pool room after I jump it off the table.
That's a really good starting point, happened to me a few times and easily went 50 feet on the carpet, maybe even bumping into a thing or two on the way. Kinda knew the correct answer has to be over 1000 feet because of it.
A pool ball doesn't go nearly that far on a pool table because it loses roughly 75% of its energy (50% of its speed) each time it makes fullish contact with a cushion. If you can get five lengths with your break speed (25MPH), you would have to hit the ball twice as fast (50MPH) to get six lengths.

Because distance increases directly with energy, every time you hit a cushion directly, your potential distance is reduced by a factor of 4.
Interesting stuff, obviously assumed it's a lot but didn't know it's that much.
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
It was a genuine question and I'm grateful for the insight.
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.

#### Buzzard II

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
pj <- were alcoholic beverages involved?
chgo
That question answers all of the other questions and answers, with the possible inclusion of certain other green leafy substances.

#### DaveK

##### Still crazy after all these years
Silver Member
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?
African or European ?

Dave

#### Jimmy_Betmore

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
We have a concrete hallway at work that's 139 yards long and goes the entire width of our building. (I know it's that length because I was curious about how long it was and checked it with a golf range finder.) Anyways, one year during that week between Christmas and New Year I decided to roll a cue ball at one end to see if it would make it all the way to the other end. Believe me when I tell you that it not only made it to the other end, it was still cooking when it got there. And it felt like I barely rolled it. Now, I understand this isn't apples to apples because there's no cloth on the floor. But a pool table still rolls pretty damn quick with 860 on it. So the answer to the question is: A REALLY LONG WAY. Like, REALLY REALLY long way.

#### arnaldo

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The OP of this thread shows that RSB's Fast Larry has obviously reincarnated. That loony mutha's not done with us yet.

Arnaldo ~ For the youngsters among us, RSB = Rec.Sports.Billiards a long-gone, early online special interest Google Group single-handedly decimated by FL. Here's a taste of the borderline evil "bad old days": https://groups.google.com/g/rec.sport.billiard/search?q=author%3Afast%20author%3Alarry
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Last edited:

#### DaveK

##### Still crazy after all these years
Silver Member
The OP of this thread shows that RSB's Fast Larry has obviously reincarnated. That loony mutha's not done with us yet.

Arnaldo ~ For the youngsters among us, RSB = Rec.Sports.Billiards a long-gone, early online special interest Google Group single-handedly decimated by FL. Here's a taste of the borderline evil "bad old days": https://groups.google.com/g/rec.sport.billiard/search?q=author%3Afast%20author%3Alarry
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Nooooooooooooooooooooo ! Please, never again mention that name that must not be named !

Dave

##### Rattling corners nightly
Silver Member
I can't believe this has gone 4 pages without someone trying to bring up earths curvature, or lack thereof if you ask CJ and Max

Maybe the ball would stop when it hit the ice wall?

#### straightline

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I can't believe this has gone 4 pages without someone trying to bring up earths curvature, or lack thereof if you ask CJ and Max

Maybe the ball would stop when it hit the ice wall?
I mentioned escape velocity and infinite space travel...

#### Tin Man

##### AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
We have a concrete hallway at work that's 139 yards long and goes the entire width of our building. (I know it's that length because I was curious about how long it was and checked it with a golf range finder.) Anyways, one year during that week between Christmas and New Year I decided to roll a cue ball at one end to see if it would make it all the way to the other end. Believe me when I tell you that it not only made it to the other end, it was still cooking when it got there. And it felt like I barely rolled it. Now, I understand this isn't apples to apples because there's no cloth on the floor. But a pool table still rolls pretty damn quick with 860 on it. So the answer to the question is: A REALLY LONG WAY. Like, REALLY REALLY long way.
Did you try it both ways? Sometimes there is an imperceptible slope that doesn't matter in any normal circumstances but will radically change cue ball distance.

I was at a casino tournament one time and there were carpeted halls outside of the venue. One of the least trafficked areas was really long, like maybe 200'. One of my friends had played around rolling balls down the hall and found out they rolled to a stop very quickly one way but rolled 3-4 times further than you'd think the other way. He put this knowledge to use by luring a guy into a gambling match where they'd roll the balls for cash, closest to the far end of the hall without hitting for the money. They'd roll 5 balls each the first way, then walk down the hall and do the same rolling them the other way. The mark was down \$200 and still none the wiser, but unfortunately the security guard showed up and broke up the game or he maybe could've emptied that guy.

#### straightline

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
On the serious side of things, Rooms with the real estate should include a pool driving range. How many pool players know their range an accuracy past 12' ?

#### Jimmy_Betmore

##### AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Did you try it both ways? Sometimes there is an imperceptible slope that doesn't matter in any normal circumstances but will radically change cue ball distance.

I was at a casino tournament one time and there were carpeted halls outside of the venue. One of the least trafficked areas was really long, like maybe 200'. One of my friends had played around rolling balls down the hall and found out they rolled to a stop very quickly one way but rolled 3-4 times further than you'd think the other way. He put this knowledge to use by luring a guy into a gambling match where they'd roll the balls for cash, closest to the far end of the hall without hitting for the money. They'd roll 5 balls each the first way, then walk down the hall and do the same rolling them the other way. The mark was down \$200 and still none the wiser, but unfortunately the security guard showed up and broke up the game or he maybe could've emptied that guy.
You, know, that's a really good point. I didn't try it the other way. Now you've given me something else to look forward to this coming December.

As far as your hotel story goes, I love that stuff. It's one of the things I miss the most about spending every single waking moment of my 20's in a pool hall with other degenerates. We would bet on some of the dumbest sh!t ever and have a blast doing it. And in case you ever wondered, some paper shredders will quite easily shred an aluminum soda can while the owner isn't in the room.