Alex Bellos - Total Ellipse of the Pot. . . Snooker, pool, billiards. . . add 'Loop' to the glossary of cue sports terms and get ready to chalk your cue and screw back the white on it's unique green baize elliptical "LOOP" table. Designed by Alex Bellos, best-selling author of Alex's Adventures in Numberland and ghostwriter of Pelé: The Autobiography. The revolutionary table - in more ways than fun - was built by Bespoke, the Snooker & Pool Table Company in Essex, England. It has a single pocket placed right on one of the ellipse's two 'focuses' (as opposed to a circle's equidistant line from its central point ) and the mathematics dictate the ball placed on one of the focuses will consistently bounce directly to the other if rebounds of off of the elliptical tables cushions. Thus, the correctly positioned cue ball will suggest it always pots in the hole. . . .as long as it's hit at the correct tempo and it's placed on precisely the right spot. Bellos says: "When I began writing about maths I had no idea that it would lead me to the glamorous world of indoor sports. The ellipse has two significant points, called focuses, which have a remarkable geometrical property that is almost always explained using the example of an imaginary pool table. If a pool table is the shape of an ellipse, then a ball shot from one focus will always rebound to the other focus no matter in which direction the ball is shot. That sounded interesting! Wouldn't it be fun, I thought, if I could build one of these imaginary tables? So I did. "I've called the table LOOP and it has a black dot at one focus, and its only pocket at the other. The black dot (which you can see just to the left of the white ball) is at one focus and the pocket is at the other. If you place a ball on the black dot, it will always rebound into the pocket in whichever direction you shoot. What's more, if the ball is not on the black dot, it will always rebound into the pocket if rolls over the black dot. "In an idealised mat - - Wednesday 22nd July 2015 (1 Picture)
Photo credit: Credit: Michael Duerinckx
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