Domino is a popular game played with black and white rectangular tiles, or “dominos.” These pieces have an identity-bearing face on one side and are blank or identically patterned on the other. They’re sometimes called “bones,” “cards,” “tiles,” “stones,” or even “tickets”—but they’re most commonly referred to as dominoes, which is a traditional name for the set of 28 tiles used in many Western games.
In English, the word domino comes from a Latin phrase that means “to tie together,” and it’s also connected with a long hooded cloak worn by men in carnival season or at masquerades. In French, the word originally denoted a cape worn by a priest over his surplice.
The game can be played by two or more people, with each player drawing a number of pieces from a deck. The game’s rules differ slightly from country to country, but the basic goal is to win by playing all of a set of dominoes.
Like dice, dominoes have a face marked with pips and blank ends that can be used to represent all the possible combinations of two ends with zero to six spots each. They’re most often arranged in two rows, but they can be placed anywhere along the line of play, depending on the rules of the game.
Some people use dominoes to play a variety of games, including cribbage, poker, and chess. In some versions, players play each domino on a different turn and score points for their combinations of the pips.
Despite their simplicity, dominoes have many fascinating properties that make them a great tool for learning about science and physics. For example, the first domino in a set can be tipped over and the entire line of dominoes will follow suit, creating a chain reaction.
Hevesh uses these physical forces to create spectacular displays. She lays out hundreds of thousands of dominoes in a pattern and allows them to fall in place. Then she nudges one to cause it to tip over and the entire chain follows its course.
Her biggest projects take several nail-biting minutes to topple. But before she does, she makes sure she’s spaced each row of dominoes correctly.
She says that one important phenomenon is gravity—the force that draws a domino to Earth when it’s knocked over. This is essential to her tumbling designs because it pulls the first domino toward the ground, causing it to tip and trigger the next one to do the same.
The physics behind the domino effect is really quite simple, and it’s a good way to think about how you can work towards your own goals. Whether you’re trying to become healthier or a better parent, figuring out which activities are going to move you forward most effectively will help you succeed in the long run.
A few years ago, Ivy Lee taught Charles Schwab a powerful technique that uses the domino effect. When he followed this strategy, he was able to focus on his most important tasks every day and achieve incredible results.