Billiards in the Round
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|Ivars Peterson (MathLand)|
|On a level, rectangular table, a practiced billiard player can return the balls to their original positions, repeat a shot, and obtain an identical result. The geometry of the table, however, can greatly influence the types of motion possible in a game. Going from a rectangle to a circle or an ellipse or to some sort of polygon introduces new elements into the game -- even chaos and unpredictability -- and offers a variety of intriguing mathematical puzzles.|
|Levels:||High School (9-12)|
|Math Topics:||Euclidean Plane Geometry|
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