Wonder of the Day: The Domino Effect


When you play domino, you’re constructing and then knocking down a series of flat rectangles that are each marked with numbers. You can play a number of games with them, from simple blocking and scoring to complicated combinations of blocks and patterns of turns that lead to the final fall of a domino. But, in order to construct a domino and then knock it over, there are some physical phenomena that you need to understand. Today’s Wonder of the Day is all about understanding these principles so you can create amazing domino setups.

A domino is a flat thumb-sized rectangular block that has two opposite ends that are either blank or have from one to six spots, called pips, on them. There are 28 such pieces in a complete set of dominoes. Dominoes are also known by a variety of other names, including bones, cards, tiles, stones, spinners, or tickets. They are normally twice as long as they are wide, which makes them easier to stack and re-stack when not in use.

Whether you’re playing a game of domino or plotting out the storyline for your next novel, there are some fundamental principles that you need to keep in mind. One of those principles is the Domino Effect, which refers to how one event can influence and affect other events that come later on in the story. Understanding this principle will help you plan your stories in a way that will make them more interesting and compelling to read.

Hevesh creates amazing domino setups that can take several nail-biting minutes to fall. When she starts a new project, she first tests individual sections of the layout in front of a camera. This allows her to correct any issues before putting the whole setup together.

While the origin of the word “domino” is uncertain, it’s believed to have been influenced by the French term dominque, which was used to describe a long hooded cloak worn over a white surplice at carnival season or at a masquerade. The word was brought to England around 1750, where it acquired its current sense as a type of playing piece.

When you stand a domino upright, it stores energy in the shape of potential energy. As the domino falls, much of this energy converts to kinetic energy, or the energy of motion (see Converting Energy). This kinetic energy is transmitted to the next domino and helps it knock over as well. As the chain of energy continues, it builds up until it reaches its final point—the last domino falling over.