Domino is a game of skill, strategy, chance, and luck that involves placing rectangular blocks called dominoes on the edge of a flat board or tabletop. The dominoes may be either printed or blank, and are normally twice as long as they are wide. Each domino has a number of spots or pips on both sides. These numbers are called the value of a domino, and they range from six to 12 or more (though doubles can count as one or two). Players score points by forming chains of matching dominoes across the tabletop. The player who scores the most points after a specified number of rounds wins.
Physicist Stephen Morris, who has studied the mechanics of domino games, explains that when a domino is standing upright, it has potential energy, or stored energy based on its position. When a domino is knocked over, much of that energy is converted to kinetic energy, or the energy of motion. Some of that energy is transmitted to the next domino, giving it the push needed to fall. As the chain reaction continues, more and more energy is transferred from one domino to the next until the last domino has fallen.
A person who creates spectacular domino setups, also known as domino artists, is often referred to as a “domino designer.” Hevesh started out making simple arrangements of dominoes when she was about 9 years old, using her grandparents’ 28-pack of the little rectangles. But her designs have grown into more and more complicated structures, and now she has a YouTube channel with more than 2 million subscribers where she shows how she makes her mind-blowing creations.
In the early 18th century, the game of domino grew in popularity in Italy and France. By the late 1700s, it had spread to England, where it was brought by French prisoners of war.
The earliest domino games were positional, in which each player placed a domino edge to edge against another, with the adjacent faces either identical or forming a certain total. These games were not as complex as the later scoring and blocking games.
Domino designers have created a range of amazing things with dominoes, from straight and curved lines to grids that form pictures when they fall, and even 3-D structures like towers and pyramids. To create these arrangements, Hevesh first does a lot of planning on paper, where she draws arrows pointing the way she wants the dominoes to fall and outlines the dimensions of the pieces she will need. She then does test versions of each section before putting them all together.
In industrial settings, experts use domino analysis to assess the risk of fire and explosion accidents caused by malfunctioning equipment. Unlike traditional risk assessment methods, this approach takes into account the impact of the accident on the surrounding environment. It also enables enterprises to rank the probability of accidents for each piece of equipment, helping them to identify potential safety vulnerabilities promptly.