Summary: David Alciatore, PhD ("Dr. Dave") ILLUSTRATED PRINCIPLES
Note: Supporting narrated video (NV) demonstrations, high-speed video (HSV) clips, and
technical proofs (TP), and all of my past articles, can be accessed and viewed online at
billiards.colostate.edu. The reference numbers used in the article help you locate the
resources on the website. If you have a slow or inconvenient Internet connection, you
might want to view the resources from a CD-ROM or DVD. See the website for details.
After writing so many serious articles on pool physics recently, I decided to take a break and
write something less serious, and maybe even a little silly. This month's topic deals with the
effects of alcohol on one's actual and perceived levels of play. I have not done extensive
research on this topic, but I do have a fair amount of anecdotal experience from my college and
graduate school days of playing pool and drinking beer with friends at bars and pool halls.
People sometimes complain to me that I use too many charts and graphs in my articles (e.g.,
squirt vs. speed, throw vs. cut angle, etc.). Hopefully, the graph in this article is one most people
will understand and relate to, either from direct experience or observing others with alcohol on
their breath in bars and pool halls. When you're an engineer like me, even silly articles like this
need graphs to help visualize the effects. Maybe this article can help some of the graph-fearing
readers out there better understand future pool-physics graphs I might present.
Diagram 1 shows the effects of alcohol on both one's actual level of play and one's
perceived level of play. Also shown is the "beer goggle" curve that illustrates the level of desire