Domino is a type of tile with one or more sides marked with a number of spots, also called pips, and often a blank side. A domino is normally twice as long as it is wide. The number of pips on a domino determines its value, with higher values indicating more valuable tiles. Players can play a variety of games with dominoes.
A common domino game involves placing the tiles end to end in a line. Then when a domino is tipped over, it causes the next domino in the line to tip over, and so on. This creates a chain reaction that can lead to some very complex patterns. Many children enjoy this sort of activity and it can teach them about the concept of the domino effect – when a small action leads to much larger, often unexpected consequences.
There are also many games that involve the use of a set of dominoes in various configurations, most of which are based on blocking and scoring. Some of these include the classic game of poker or a variation of concentration that uses a double-six set (the dominoes have to match at both ends to be considered a “match”).
Another type of domino game is a race, in which each player takes turns placing a domino on the table and then stepping over it. The first person to finish their row of dominoes wins the race. There are also a number of puzzles that can be solved with dominoes, including mazes and towers.
The word domino derives from the Latin dominium, meaning “flip over.” It is thought that the name was inspired by the way a single domino can cause other dominoes to fall. The first known reference to the word was in a French book from 1750. An earlier sense of the word meant a long hooded cloak worn over a surplice at a carnival or masquerade ball.
Domino is also a brand name for the game and can be found in a number of products. The game’s popularity has led to an increased interest in its history and development. There are several different kinds of dominoes, ranging from traditional toy bricks to more sophisticated electronic devices.
A physicist named Stephen Morris has analyzed the way dominoes fall and created computer programs to predict how they might tumble. He has also studied the physical phenomenon behind them, finding that gravity is an important factor. Hevesh, the domino artist who is featured in the video, also agrees that gravity is key to her incredible setups.
Hevesh has worked on projects that require the stacking of hundreds of thousands of dominoes. Her largest setups can take several nail-biting minutes to complete. She explains that when a domino is standing upright, it stores potential energy. But when it is knocked over, this energy is converted into kinetic energy as the domino falls over the next tile. This forces the next tile to fall, and the process repeats until the entire design is complete.