The ellipse is the curve you get when you slice through a cone so that the knife comes cleanly out the other side. For this reason the ellipse is known as a "conic section".
The cone therefore seemed the most appropriate shape for the Loop World Championship trophy.
Here it is: the Golden Cone.
Best of luck to all who take part at Port Eliot this weekend! The tournament starts tomorrow.
If you can't afford to buy a LOOP table, don't worry! You can play it here, on your desktop or mobile device. Thanks to Anthony S Liu, who wrote the code. The rules appear as you play it but you can check them here, and remember to use the focus points!
LOOP will be officially launched at the Port Eliot Festival in Cornwall on July 31 and August 1, 2015. The stunning and historic Round Room at Port Eliot will be the geometrically satisfying arena in which contestants compete in the First Loop World Championship. More information on the Port Eliot Festival 2015 website.
Unlike circles, which all have the same shape, ellipses can be one of an infinite number of shapes. You can make them long and thin, like a surf board, or almost circular, like, um, a circle.
Ellipses are classified according to their ECCENTRICITY, which is a measure of how far they are from being a circle. Eccentricity is calculated by dividing the distance between the focus points by the distance of the longest, or major axis. The further apart the focus points, the higher the eccentricity is. The closer the focus points, the smaller it is.
The eccentricity of an ellipse will be between 0 and 1.
I chose an eccentricity of 3/7, or 0.43, for LOOP. I didn't want to go higher than that since the table becomes too narrow, and I didn't want to go lower, since you can't clearly see the elliptical shape.
The LOOP table finally arrives at its home, Winton Capital Management, in Hammersmith, London.
Project managing the construction of the first LOOP table took months of planning and several trips to the Snooker & Pool Table Company, Britain's finest purveyors of bespoke pool tables. The company is run by Darren (pictured) and based in Rayleigh, Essex.