View Full Version : Theory: Breaking From Near The Rail Loses Energy

03-28-2003, 01:03 PM
Breaking with the cue ball near either rail is very popular, but the amount of energy that is transferred into the rack is generally less than breaking from near the middle of the table.

The energy of the cue ball is going in a straight line. This energy is due to it's motion and is called kinetic energy. On a break from the rail, that path of energy passes directly through the head ball and part of the second ball on the far side of the rack. The angle that the cue ball moves off on after the hit and it's speed indicates the amount of energy that remained in the cue ball that wasn't passed into the rack. The more to the side the CB goes and the faster it is traveling, the greater the energy that it retained that was not transferred into the rack.

If the cue ball stops dead when it hit the rack, that would indicate all the energy went into the rack. If the CB then moved due to spin, that would be a small use of energy that is significant to CB placement but have marginal effect on the rack. If the CB bounced off the rack, that would indicate energy remains in the CB, but I don't know what to do about that except try to hit it so the bounce is minimized.

Therefore, if one is trying to move the balls around as much as possible, it seems logical to get the most energy into the rack by starting the CB from close to the middle of the table and directing the energy into the bulk of the rack.

Some breaks rely on a certain speed and angle of hit to make a particular ball in a particular pocket. This is a different style of break that this theory doesn't apply to. But for those that are trying to move the balls as much as possible, why shoot from near the rail??

03-28-2003, 02:14 PM

A necessary prerequisite to your theory of center being better seems to be that the cue ball retains significantly more motion after a side-rail break. Are you sure this is true?

Furthermore, since kinetic energy goes as the square of the speed, retained (ie wasted) energy is less than 10% of the original once the CB slows to 30% of it's original speed.

If one break results in a CB rebounding at 20% original speed, and another results in a CB rebounding at 10% original speed, the difference in wasted energy between the two is only (0.20)^2 - (0.10)^2 = 0.03. Cutting the rebound speed in half only results in a transfer of an additional 3% of the original cueball energy, once you reach this point.

I'd gladly trade that 3% if I thought that altering my origin gave me a measureably better chance of sending object balls in the correct direction (ref Joe Tucker's publication "Racking Secrets").


03-28-2003, 02:33 PM
My head hurts!

03-28-2003, 03:23 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote ChrisW:</font><hr> My head hurts! <hr /></blockquote>

LOL! /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

03-28-2003, 03:46 PM

03-28-2003, 03:56 PM
Yeah! I dont do a good break from the side. I do a decent one from the front. I do not care about the physics, just busting up balls, leaving no clusters, sending a few balls down at the other end and retaining control of the cb.

I know others break better but I figure people break from the side or front depending on what busts em up for them the best. Not counting those hoping for that elusive B8 /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif


03-28-2003, 05:45 PM
I totally agree with the power loss theory. My best brakes come from this spot :
%AN7O5%BL7P8%CJ5O4%DL7N1%EM7P1%FK6P1%GK6N8%HM7N8%I L7O4%Pn3H6

03-29-2003, 04:26 PM
Hi Tom:
I agree w/ Spiderman on the kinetic thing.

Next question: Is MAXIMUM power really all that efficient given the problem of control? After all, you have to hit the mark with precision too.

What's the game? --Can't folks get enough spread out of a nine ball rack using 80-90% power?

What's the strategic goal of your break shot?
1. Maximize the random movement of the rack balls?
2. Make a ball by chance?
3. Control the cue ball?
4. Control the one ball? /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif
5. Minimize how often you yield the table? /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

--Ted from Phoenix

03-31-2003, 03:10 AM
I never break from the dead center. I remember I did this in a Leuven university (Belgium) tournament. Twice the cue ball flew to the next table, once hitting a player, because of the ding on the spot. In nineball I usually end up dry from the centre anyway, but this tourney was 8-ball, and the break suits the game. Now I never break from the dead middle, but a hair to the side of the spot.

For nineball I play from the side 95% of the time. I don't care about energy transfer compared to other places, this is my most comfortable break. What I do care about is that I relatively often (every fifth time maybe) scratch to the side opposite to where I am playing from.

I also sometime break from half way between the side and the spot (from the line). But I lose the cue ball on this break.

I don't really ever look at if the corner ball drops on my (9ball) break (I do see if the one drops to side ro corner). I should concentrate more on this way of analysing how the table plays. Having watched accu-stats, I realize the pros look for patterns in how the break works from one side vs the other, or with slow or hard break etc.