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Levitation pool

Most likely impossible, but fun to think about
 (+1, -2) [vote for, against]

Magnatize every object used in a game of pool (billiards), including the table, all balls, and cue sticks. With strong enough magnets, all of the balls would float and repell each other without contact. Rails would be magnetized as well. Obviously, a larger table would be required to keep a regulation sized playing area. Pockets would not be magnetized, but the proximity of the magnetized rails would only allow well placed shots in.

Near-perpetual motion would be achieved on the break, but thats part of the fun.

(Hmm... the break... How to cluster 15 magnetized balls together? Help me out on that one.)

Similar to some other ideas already proposed, but this uses a table with balls levitating only an inch or so off the surface and rails located slightly above center of the floating balls.

 — Hunter79764, Aug 16 2006

Earnshaw's theorem http://math.ucr.edu...ion/levitation.html
A theorem due to Earnshaw proves that it is not possible to achieve static levitation using any combination of fixed magnets [xaviergisz, Aug 17 2006]

Diamagnetic Table Hockey Diamagnetic_20Table_20Hockey
kinda similar [xaviergisz, Aug 17 2006]

Nice rack. Racktacular_2e
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Aug 17 2006]

Spherical magnet http://www.coolmagnetman.com/field15.htm
(There's one really obvious example.) [angel, Aug 17 2006]

Why Hunter was shot down http://www.madsci.o...950716122.Ph.r.html
[angel, Aug 17 2006]

Links to various levitation ideas http://www.geocitie...re/3075/maglev.html
including graphite [ldischler, Aug 20 2006]

I'm in for \$20.
 — bungston, Aug 16 2006

Rack 'em up [bungston].
 — methinksnot, Aug 16 2006

[marked-for-deletion] bad science. Magnets have two poles, not one. It's not possible to float the balls this way.
 — ldischler, Aug 16 2006

 Sshh, [ldischler]. I've got [bungston] in for \$20!

Look one idea up in the list.
 — methinksnot, Aug 16 2006

Just as bad, even with the magic word "superconducting."
 — ldischler, Aug 16 2006

You can get the same effect from air pool (i.e., an air hockey table tricked out for pool), but someone's already proposed that here.
 — DrCurry, Aug 17 2006

I have no real experience with magnets, so shoot me down if I'm wrong, but I was thinking that one pole would be concentrated in the center and the other would be radially outward. Think hollow shell with magnets glued evenly around the outside, with an outer protective shell. The table shouldnt be a problem. The opposite pole just faces outward.
 — Hunter79764, Aug 17 2006

 //How to cluster 15 magnetized balls together? Help me out on that one//

 — 2 fries shy of a happy meal, Aug 17 2006

Ok, so it isn't possible. But my mental image of it is still pretty cool to me. Thanks for the link, [xaviergisz]. I especially like the part about levitating frogs...
 — Hunter79764, Aug 17 2006

//shoot me down if I'm wrong//

 — angel, Aug 17 2006

Not bad science if the balls are Graphite. You can levitiate graphite above magnets.
 — webfishrune, Aug 17 2006

Okay, slap me down if I'm wrong, but even if this could work, it'd be boring as, well, something really boring. The friction between the balls and the table is what slows them down (okay, air resistance as well, and the heat and sound generated when they smack into the cushions). So, eliminate that, and you eliminate the balls stopping so you can play another shot. Until the beer's run out, your mate Martin has got into ANOTHER fight, the pub shutters are down, and the staff are into the dregs of the house wine.
Oh, OR all the balls sink off a one-shot "clean break".
My break, [bungston].
 — m_Al_com, Aug 17 2006

//it'd be boring as, well, something really boring//

More boring than pool? OK, soccer, darts, golf, cricket ...
 — angel, Aug 17 2006

// [hunter] clicks link, reads, grabs at bloody wound in the chest, staggers around the room, eventually falling on prototype levitation pool table, complete with [2 fries'] racking coontraption, but strangely, no balls yet... And dies.//
 — Hunter79764, Aug 17 2006

As [m Al com], said wouldn't laws of probability say that a ball moving for this long would probably knock most of the other balls in? Eventually?
 — jellydoughnut, Aug 17 2006