Activity: Billiard Paths
Student Page
Revised 3.2.03
Below is an unusual billiard table. The dimensions are determined by the numbers on the sliders. When you click on SHOOT a blue ball will start to roll at a 45 degree heading and bounce off the opposite sides until it ends up in a corner. The computer will then tell you how many bounces (touches) the ball made and in what corner it wound up in.
Microworlds Java version

Note: To use the Java version you will need to first download and install the Microworlds Player. 

Click here to find out how to do that.

Alternative Java version


Your Challenge: See if you can come up with a way to predict  (1) what the number of touches will be for any given size billiard table and (2) which corner the ball will end up in. 

An example (5x7 table) is done for you. Try the others and see what you get.
 
W
L
Touches
Final Corner
5
7
 12
 Upper Right
8
3
   
5
4
   
10
13
   
 5
 9
   
       
       

Try other number combinations.
See what conjectures or conclusions you come with.
(Use the data sheets to help you collect more data.)