The Domino Effect


Domino has long been a popular game for children and adults. It teaches hand-eye coordination and the ability to think strategically. It also encourages teamwork and cooperation. Domino is also used as a metaphor to refer to the spread of an idea or event. For example, if your soccer team wins against their biggest rivals, it can cause a domino effect of goodwill throughout the community.

A domino is a rectangular tile with two opposite ends. Each end has a number of dots, called pips, that vary from zero to six. The sum of the pips is called the rank or weight of the tile. The higher the rank, the heavier the domino. Each player draws a number of tiles for his hand in accordance with the rules of the game being played. When a new hand is drawn, the player with the highest ranking domino begins play.

There are many different types of domino games. Some are scoring games, where players try to empty their hand before their opponents. Others involve blocking an opponent’s play. Still others use a combination of both strategies. Some games include the practice of counting the pips on a domino, which helps improve numeracy skills.

When Lily Hevesh started playing with her grandparents’ classic 28-pack of dominoes at age 9, she was instantly hooked. She loved setting them up in straight or curved lines and flicking the first one to watch them fall, one after another. Over time, her collection grew larger and she started posting videos of her domino creations on YouTube. Today, the 20-year-old Hevesh is a professional domino artist and her YouTube channel, Hevesh5, has more than 2 million subscribers. Her largest installations take several nail-biting minutes to set up, and they can contain thousands of dominoes.

Although Hevesh explains that her success comes down to careful planning and meticulous execution, she credits one physical phenomenon for making her designs possible: gravity. When a domino is knocked over, it pulls toward the ground and pushes on the next domino. “As soon as the first one hits the ground, it releases a lot of energy,” she says. “That energy is absorbed by the next domino and then transferred back to the first one.”

Hevesh tests each piece of her massive installations before they go up. This process allows her to correct problems quickly and ensure that the entire installation will work correctly. She also explains the physics behind her work: the tops of dominoes slide against each other and the bottoms slip on the surface they’re on, creating friction that converts some of the energy into heat and sound. Then, when a domino hits the ground, the remaining energy is transmitted to the next domino and causes it to tumble. Watch Hevesh in action in the video below. Her incredible domino designs can include straight or curved lines, grids that form pictures, stacked walls, or even 3D structures like pyramids and towers.