Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Now half off!
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Step one: Take one standard Air Hockey table, enlarge it, and adhere a reflective mylar sheet to create a mirror surface.
Step two: Remember to drill the air holes back out before flipping the switch.
Step three: Install bumpers and pockets in corners.
Step four: Tragically, completely ruin a set of perfectly good billiard balls by slicing them exactly in half so that the numbers remain at the top. On a positive note you now have two completes sets of Hemisphilliards.

Step five: Play billiards with nearly the same physics as the standard game minus Masse shots, (curving the cue ball around or jumping it over other balls) except that the illusion of spherical balls floating on nothing but the reflection of the ceiling and inverted scenery would make for a brain-bender while trying to concentrate on your shot because your brain will continue to insist that they should roll and not hover.

"confusing billiards with snooker and/or pool"? https://quedos.com....s-pool-and-snooker/
[a1, Nov 04 2022]

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       This is friggin clever! [+]
doctorremulac3, Nov 03 2022

       Cheaper/easier to build from scratch (instead of re-hashing an Air-Hockey table). An old vacuum cleaner or 2 for the air supply.
Also, I've always wondered if a porous (but otherwise solid) plastic top would work, instead of all those holes to drill. Not sure about "mirror finish", but it might still work after silver paint & polishing.
Actual billiard balls might be too heavy, but most "craft" shops have various sizes of polystyrene spheres. Assuming you can get the right size, cut & paint & done!
One possible issue: whether the "balls" will stay put when you DON'T want them to move.
So crazy it will almost certainly work!
neutrinos_shadow, Nov 04 2022

       Will the airflow be sufficient to actually lift these things? I'm thinking this may take a little more modification than you realize. Bake it and send me the video!
21 Quest, Nov 04 2022

       Just make them from scratch out of lighter material.
doctorremulac3, Nov 04 2022

       Also, I think you're confusing billiards with snooker and/or pool.
neutrinos_shadow, Nov 04 2022

       Dare I say... Bakelite?
21 Quest, Nov 04 2022

       I love the idea, but the physics will be a bit off. The problem is that the center of gravity for each hemisphere is above the point where the balls will contact each other. When balls collide with significant speed, they will tip up, or possibly even flip over.
scad mientist, Nov 04 2022

       I was wondering about that ^
21 Quest, Nov 04 2022

       Would the centre of gravity point not be solvable by weighting the hemispheres towards the bottom? Anyway, excellent idea!
calum, Nov 04 2022

       + truly halved- baked
xandram, Nov 04 2022

       One problem: Too late for mass production ahead of this year's major shopping time.
reensure, Nov 04 2022

       Yes there is that.   

       No confusion about billiards though, it's just that neither Hemisphooker or Hemisphool roll off the tongue as well.   

       // neither roll off the tongue as well //   

       I dunno. A slurred "ooker' or 'ool' pairs nicely after an F sound.
a1, Nov 04 2022

       But billiard balls don't have numbers on.   

       You could get a similar effect by flooding the table up to the mid point of the balls. However, of course viscous drag would pull at your balls. So you need a more fluid, lighter liquid. Ethanol might work, and also would allow you to ignite the surface to play flaming viscous hemispherical billiards.
pocmloc, Nov 04 2022

       // flaming viscous hemispherical billiards //   

       I'd bun that.
a1, Nov 04 2022

       //I dunno. A slurred "ooker' or 'ool' pairs nicely after an F sound.//   

       Anything which elicits a snicker whilst rolling off one's tongue is just...   


       //But billiard balls don't have numbers on.//   

       True, but then your brain would just tell you that the balls were rolling just fine and the dichotomy of the inverted situation would be lost on the synapses.   


       It's making floating balls which don't roll that messes with your head.   

       The other two name choices would not have garnered as many current or future hits, so Hemisphilliards it is.
Just saying it kind of tickles something I can't define. Maybe someday I will know the words.


       Stray tuned to this channel.   

       Back to you Phil.   

       Surely they can have numbers painted on them?
21 Quest, Nov 05 2022

       Not billiards.   

       Then call them Williards.
21 Quest, Nov 05 2022

       That would just be silly
pocmloc, Nov 05 2022

       Very good.   

       Perhaps a thin metal puck with a plastic hemisphere on top would have better collisions.   

       For numbers that are vertically symmetric ( 0, 1, 3, 8 ...) they could be painted on the side of the hemisphere, completed by the mirror image.
mitxela, Nov 05 2022

       0 - 1 - II - 3 - IIII - - - - 8 - IX - X - 11 - XII   

       If you could engrave the lettering and have it like those moving rulers that we all had in the 80s with ball-colour on the upper edge of the groove and letter-colour on the lower edge you could do 5 6 and 7 such that half the glyph was only visible in the reflection and half only visible directly.   

       Although billiards only has 3 balls and anyway the balls don't have numbers on them.
pocmloc, Nov 05 2022

       [pocmloc]; //viscous drag... lighter liquid//
So, liquid Helium then? Not sure how reflective the still surface is, or how you would keep it "in" the table...
I like the "disc + extremely light hemispherical top" idea, to get a better CoG.
neutrinos_shadow, Nov 06 2022

       I think the best part of this idea is a mirrored air-hockey surface. The appearance of a floating "puck" would be as impressive as balls. And if you' go the simple air hockey route, you should mirror the sidewalls as well.   

       The biggest challenge will be maintaining the surface, keeping it shiny and scuff free.
a1, Nov 07 2022

       //shiny and scuff free//
Hmm... put a thin layer of felt on the bottom of each "ball". Assuming a dust-free surface (a quick vacuum before playing), that will both keep the surface shiny, & (possibly) help the "balls" maintain position until hit (as the felt will diffuse the airflow & hopefully not generate a "push" in any one direction; assuming good vertical jets).
Experiments must be done!
neutrinos_shadow, Nov 07 2022

       I think with air hockey pucks there's a little rim & depression to make a plenum that catches air from below. I wouldn't worry about the pucks or hemispheres scuffing the surface as much as pool cues or those things you slam the puck with (paddles? knockers? what are they called?) .
a1, Nov 07 2022

       Further thought:
For the "stiff base, light hemisphere" design, maybe carbon fibre would be good as a base. Light (but heavy enough relative to a hollowed-out polystyrene hemisphere), stiff & flat to maintain a good bottom surface, resilient enough for rebound (or could have springiness built in to the edge shape if necessary).
neutrinos_shadow, Nov 07 2022

       Have them float around like boats in a pool of mercury. The physics could get really fun.
RayfordSteele, Nov 08 2022


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