Monday, February 15, 2010

The Banksian Sphere (BS)-Your ultimate source for BS physics: Non Newtonian Physics of the Den's pool table


If you didn't already know, my house has a name and it's called The Den. If you've ever played pool at the Den, you know that the pool table will curve the balls in the most unexpected ways. Some would hypothesize that the table isn't level or that it's deformed in some way. Others would guess that the bent cues force us to put strange spins on the balls that cause them to swerve back and forth unpredictably.

Sorry folks, regular physics doesn't work at the Den

All of these guesses may be very well thought out, scientific reasons, but they all make the same assumption: That Newton's laws of motion apply on our pool table. I claim that this is a faulty assumption. With the best of today's rulers, we have confirmed that the table is, in fact, level within a uncertainty of 1 inch. We have also performed thorough tests on the perfectly level street next to our house to confirm that the bent cues only curve the balls slightly in comparison to the curvature that is found on the Den's pool table.

Why it's so hard to not slide off a rotating ice rink

Since the first two hypotheses have been proven false, we must move on to a new theory. Imagine you were on a rotating ice rink. You can imagine that you'd have some difficulty staying on the rink because the apparent centrifugal force. Your body would be forced to move in an unnatural way because you would be in a rotating reference frame. If you by chance figured out how to stand up on the rotating ice rink long enough to hit a hockey puck toward the center of the rink, you would notice something interesting. The puck would curve to the left or right depending on the rink's direction of rotation. If the rink was rotating fast enough, you'd see the puck loop around a couple times before shooting off the side of the rink.

That was an incredibly satisfying tangent, but has nothing to do with my theory. My hypothesis is that there is some invisible force in the center of the pool table, causing the curvature of moving pool balls. It will be my attempt to convince you that this is possible if and only if (IFF) there is a black hole at the middle of the Den pool table.

Gravitational lensing and why black holes are like bifocals

Black holes cause gravitational lensing when something (matter or light) passes near the black hole. We see this on the large scale all the time with light from distant galaxies and we see a similar effect when a meteor passes near a planet, which changes the trajectory. This happens because the planet is incredibly massive and as we all know, two things with mass attract each other (and some like to say that every one in the world is attracted to them for this reason). We don't see this bending of trajectories on the small scale because things are just too light. We did a calculation in Intermediate Mechanics and figured out that it would take lots of years for two billiard balls to attract each other to the point of touching.


Since we've seen the effect of gravitational lensing on the small scale in short amounts of time (on the order of 1 second), I have concluded that there must be an extremely massive, yet very small, black hole in the middle of the pool table. Kudos to whoever can figure out exactly how the black hole causes the balls to jump off the table so frequently.

Acknowledgements: Much thanks to Nathan Jorgensen (AKA Jorgie) as he was my inspiration for this theory as well as the rest of the Denninites (old and new) who have played pool on the table and demonstrated it's ridiculous laws of motion. We apologize to anyone who was been pegged by a ball that mysteriously ejected off of the table during the experiments as well as the countless guests who lost a game because they didn't account for the gravitational lensing effect.


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Small Print: Don't believe anything above this sentence since it was completely made up and was extremely unscientific.