Domino is a game in which players place dominoes edge to edge on a flat surface, then, after a turn, knock over all the dominoes that were not yet tipped. Stacks of dominoes can be arranged in many different ways to create complex designs. For example, dominoes can be arranged in straight or curved lines, in grids that form pictures when they fall, or even 3D structures like towers and pyramids. Dominoes can also be used to create a sequence of events, known as a domino rally. When a domino rallies, each domino in the chain has potential energy that can push on other dominoes and set off a series of increasingly complicated and dramatic reactions.
Dominoes are small, rectangular, rounded, or square pieces of wood that feature numbers and one to six dots. Each number is divided into suits: the suit of threes includes all tiles with a three; the suit of sevens, all eights; and the suite of blanks, or zeroes, contains all other tiles. The most common sets of dominoes contain 28 tiles, although larger sets exist for games with multiple players. A single domino can be used in several different ways, but the most popular type of domino play involves positional games, in which each player in turn places a tile on the table positioning it so that either its side is touching another domino, or it makes up part of a specified total.
The most common domino sets come with a set of printed rules and instructions, but some manufacturers also produce custom-printed sets that provide more complex games or allow players to create their own custom games. Dominos can be arranged in straight or arced lines, in grids that form pictures when the dominoes fall, in stacked walls, or in 3D structures. Many people have a fascination with building and creating domino art, which is often displayed in museums and galleries.
When a domino is tipped, it causes the next domino in the line to tip over, and then the next, and so on until all the dominoes are tipped. This is the origin of the phrase, “the domino effect,” which describes a series of events that begins with one simple action and leads to much more complex-and sometimes catastrophic-consequences.
Hevesh has created many intricate domino setups, including 3-D arrangements that take a few nail-biting minutes to complete. Her success is due to several factors, but one physical phenomenon is especially important: gravity. When Hevesh knocks over a domino, the force of gravity pulls it toward the Earth, causing it to tumbling down and kickstarting the chain reaction that leads to the final result.
The same principle is at work in many types of human behavior. For instance, a study from Northwestern University found that when participants decreased their sedentary leisure time, they also reduced their daily fat intake. The reason: one change triggered a domino effect, in which the new habit naturally led to a shift in other habits.