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Spin in Ball Games

University of Greenwich (18/02/2009).

Pool is a game in which balls (consider them points) bounce around a rectangle (the table) in two-dimensions. When a ball strikes the edge of the table (the cushion) it will bounce away following "angle of incidence = angle of reflection". Right? Anyone who has played pool will know this is not always true and the interesting aspects come from applying spin to the ball. This talk runs through some of the interesting and sometimes counter-intuitive effects that can be achieved in ball games using spin. This short talk is followed by the chance to play pool, tennis and other games on a Nintendo Wii.

I teach mathematics at Sheffield Hallam University and am a researcher focused on higher education mathematics educational practice. Find out more about Peter Rowlett. This website also houses lists of my publications and talks I have given.

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