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# Cylindrical Snooker

Space-station Snooker and Parabolic Pool
 (+1, -1) [vote for, against]

When they eventually get proper space stations sorted, they're obviously going to rotate, to generate artificial gravity. Your snooker table won't then want to be flat: a level table will be part of a cylindrical surface centred on the axis of rotation of the station. Apart from the initial visual confusion of playing on a curved surface, the game won't be a lot different from the terrestrial game - because it's all happening at the same distance from the axis, there are no funny Coriolis effects to confuse the unwary.

I think you'd normally have either the long sides or the short sides parallel with the axis of rotation, but there's no magic about that - the visual confusion caused by a diagonal arrangement might be greater though.

NOW for the paraboloid version: long before we've got spacestation snooker, we can have a table in a slowly rotating centrifuge on Earth, rotating around a vertical axis. The table now has to be part of a paraboloid. This time you do get Coriolis effects.

The Earth-bound paraboloid pool table makes the players rather heavier than they're used to (slightly more so the further from the axis of rotation they move) - 10 or 15% should be quite manageable though, and enough to make the game very odd. In a space-station, you can only have the cylindrical version, but on the Moon (or on Mars, if anyone ever really gets there) you can have a paraboloid version and still feel light on your feet.

[hippo] Thanks for the link - but please unmark for deletion now I've changed the emphasis! 8~)

 — Cosh i Pi, Jun 19 2007

Parabolic Pool Table Parabolic_20Pool_20Table
Redundant [marked-for-deletion] [hippo, Jun 19 2007]

Shameless Plug! Grass_20Billiards_20Table
[jhomrighaus, Jun 19 2007]

Paraboloid http://mathworld.wo...com/Paraboloid.html
Is this what you meant? [quantum_flux, Jun 19 2007]

Shameless Plug for other Pool related ideas. See link!
 — jhomrighaus, Jun 19 2007

You're better off linking your idea to one that's not going to be deleted in a week or so [jhom].
 — theleopard, Jun 19 2007

 [quantum_flux] Yes, that's certainly the shape, although that's a very deep one - we'd only be using a small patch quite near the middle of the bottom of a much bigger one. Small patches of bigger ones are only slightly curved.

But this entry's [marked_for_deletion] because [idischler] has submitted one very like it already - I'm adding the extra bits from this to his one.
 — Cosh i Pi, Jun 19 2007

The way you described it, it seems as though all of the balls would go straight to the center.
 — quantum_flux, Jun 19 2007

The whole point of a paraboloid is that it's exactly the shape that you need for this - nothing else will do. The slope of the table at any radius is exactly right to provide exactly the centripetal acceleration to stop the balls flying off the table (or to put it a different way, the "rotating frame of reference" way, to balance out the centrifugal force).
 — Cosh i Pi, Jun 19 2007

 A paraobolid would not be the correct shape for a pool table on a sapce station rotating about a single axis. All one would require is a top that is curved to the radius of the distance to the center of rotation. Think of the scene in the film '2001' where the astronaut is jogging around the cylinder for exercise.

Multiple axis spin, where one axis is centered on the table and the other is perpendicular to that, would seem to fit a parabolic table.
 — nuclear hobo, Jun 19 2007

I still like the 0g cylindrical option. That hasn't been done before.
 — wagster, Jun 19 2007

 [nuclear] Indeed. The paraboloid is the right shape for a table in a centrifuge on a planetary surface. For a rotating space station, the correct shape is a patch of a cylindrical surface, as stated in the original submission.

Double axis spinning is just horrible, unless one of the spins is VERY much slower and larger radius than the other (as for example a centrifuge on the surface of the Earth - but not necessarily quite such a large ratio!)
 — Cosh i Pi, Jun 19 2007

 Doh! I missed the centerfuge part.



[-]
 — nuclear hobo, Jun 20 2007

I quite like the idea of a slowly spinning swimming pool.
 — Ling, Jun 20 2007

For a one-curve-fits-all design suitable for any radius of space staion or any level of the same station you could have a flexible table with many legs so that it bends to the curvature of the floor.
 — marklar, Jun 20 2007

 [marklar] Spectacular! I love it!

I was horribly conscious of the fact that my original table has to spin at exactly the right rate, and has to be in exactly the right place relative to the axis of rotation. More hassly than just getting a flat table level!
 — Cosh i Pi, Jun 20 2007

There are quite a few ideas here that aren't in the older Parabolic Pool Table idea - perhaps I should rename this one Cylindrical Pool and [marked_for_non-deletion] ?
 — Cosh i Pi, Jun 20 2007

<wonders without thinking too hard> Would a cylindrical pool table in a rotating space station have coriolis type effects in different directions?
<thinks a little bit> It would when jumping one ball over another in the axial direction.
 — Ling, Jun 20 2007

[Ling] No, Coriolis effects only happen if you change the distance from the axis of rotation. Since the whole table surface would be the same distance from the axis, there'd be no Coriolis effects at all - except for balls that left the surface of the table, that is!
 — Cosh i Pi, Jun 20 2007

One interesting aspect of a cylindrical pool table is that whereas a parabolic table remains roughly 6' by 4', a cylindrical one is more like 6' by infinity. How you get a cue aimed up inside something like that is beyond me.
 — wagster, Jun 20 2007

 [wagster] The cylindrical table would also be roughly the same size as a standard table. Why on Earth (or in this case, in the spacestation) would you want to make it any other size?

 It's only a part of a cylindrical surface - only slightly curved, at that, just as the parabolic one would be. It's just a different shaped curve to follow a different equipotential surface.

(Normal pool tables aren't theoretically perfectly flat: they're part of a spherical surface with a radius of 4000 miles. You wouldn't notice the curvature, really - or need to make any special arrangements to create it.)
 — Cosh i Pi, Jun 20 2007

Ah, I misunderstood. It might nonetheless be an interesting (and costly) experiment to create a 360 degree cylindrical pool table in space. It would need to spin fast mind you.
 — wagster, Jun 20 2007

 In a space station with a 50ft radius, rotating once every 8 seconds for 1G, the curvature of a 4.5ft wide table will be a massive 0.05" from edge to center. The rotational speed doesn't matter; it's just for show. For the metrically minded, use 15m radius, ~1.4m wide, and ~1.3mm.

Coriolis effects & balls off the table: that would be a good trick shot; where the jumping ball actually lands on the original side of the obstacle ball.
 — Ling, Jun 20 2007

 We haven't looked into lightspeed pool yet. A table 6 lightseconds by 4 lightseconds should suffice.

 The cue would obviously have to be pretty powerful in order to accelerate the ball from standing to near lightspeed in a short time. I suspect the balls would have to be lighter than standard balls, maybe particles would work - great big particles, nice and easy to aim.

As you took shots, you would not only increase the mass of the balls, but also their time dilation, completely buggering up the Newtonian mechanics on which pool is based.
 — wagster, Jun 20 2007

And I thought I was a loony... 8~)
 — Cosh i Pi, Jun 20 2007

 //One interesting aspect of a cylindrical pool table is that whereas a parabolic table remains roughly 6' by 4', a cylindrical one is more like 6' by infinity. How you get a cue aimed up inside something like that is beyond me.//

Simple, just use a hypercue.
 — nuclear hobo, Jun 20 2007

Heehee. Also useful for those pubs where there's never quite enough room between the table and the wall.
 — wagster, Jun 20 2007

 I made myself a cue that consisted of five sections screwed together with nice brass ferrules (if that's not a contradiction) so you could have it the proper length or any of several conveniently short lengths for that kind of place.

A friend decided to go one better and made a telescopic one - it was much quicker to adjust than mine, but mine had the advantage that it was precision engineered and actually usable... 8~)
 — Cosh i Pi, Jun 20 2007

[admin: Yes, this is different enough from the parabolic pool table saga to stand on its own. I'm ignoring the MFD. Hippo?]
 — jutta, Jun 27 2007

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