Summary: David Alciatore, PhD ("Dr. Dave") ILLUSTRATED PRINCIPLES
"Coriolis was brilliant ... but he didn't have a high-speed camera
Part II: High-speed video"
Note: Supporting narrated video (NV) demonstrations, high-speed video (HSV) clips, and
technical proofs (TP) can be accessed and viewed online at billiards.colostate.edu. The
reference numbers used in the article (e.g., NV A.76) help you locate the resources on the
This is the second article in a series I am writing about the pool physics book written by the
famous mathematician and physicists Coriolis in 1835. In last month's article, I summarized and
illustrated some of the main conclusions in the book. In this article, I want to describe some high-
speed camera work I've done and show some examples that relate to some of Coriolis'
conclusions. Over the next few months, I will look at Coriolis' conclusions in more detail and
explain when they do and don't apply.
Before I look at some of my high-speed video results, I want to acknowledge the work others
have done. In 1998, Bob Jewett, Mike Shamos, and others did some high-speed filming of
various shots. They called their project the "Jacksonville Experiments." They summarized their
work in the 1999 April and June issues of Billiards Digest (see the link under the "videos" section
in the "Online Threads" area of my website for more information). Some of the conclusions they
arrived at in their work include:
1. During impact, the cue tip is in contact with the cue ball only for about 0.001 second (a