b'Engineer Innovation | Brownian motionBrownian Motion.The random musings of a Fluid DynamicistWhy I suck at Pool I\'ve always been a terrible pool player. Until recently, Ithe rails of the table). However, even though each individual attributed this complete lack of talent to my abysmal hand-eyecollision obeys Newton\'s laws, it turns out that as the number coordination skills.of collisions increases, the amount of physics you need to account for in order to maintain the accuracy of your As it turns out, I may have been too hard on myself. It seemsprediction increases at a staggering rate. that my lack of ability is almost entirely because I fail to properly take into account of all the physical phenomena that In his book "The Black Swan", Nassim Nicholas Taleb describes influence the pool table when making a shot. More specifically,a set of calculations by English physicist Professor Michael it\'s because I often neglect to take account of the gravitationalBerry that address exactly this problem:attraction of the big dude sitting at the opposite corner of the bar. Let me explain. "If you know a set of basic parameters concerning the ball at rest, can computer the resistance of the table (quite On paper at least, calculating the elastic collision of two poolelementary), and can gauge the strength of the impact, then balls is a relatively trivial task, one that should be easily withinit is rather easy to predict what would happen at the first hit. the grasp of any high school physics student. Using Newton\'sThe second impact becomes more complicated, but possible; laws of motion, given an initial velocity and angle of collisionand more precision is called for. The problem is that to you should be able to predict - to a high degree of accuracy -correctly computer the ninth impact, you need to take account the subsequent trajectory of the two balls. By taking accountthe gravitational pull of someone standing next to the table of the frictional rolling resistance between the balls and the(modestly, Berry\'s computations use a weight of less than 150 baize, you would also be able to predict where the balls wouldpounds). And to compute the fifty-sixth impact, every single eventually come to rest. elementary particle in the universe needs to be present in your assumptions! An electron at the edge of the universe,Having mastered a two-ball collision, it would be temptingseparated from us by 10 billion light-years, must figure in to think that you could simply extend the calculation to takethe calculations, since it exerts a meaningful effect on the account of subsequent collisions (with other balls or withoutcome."66'