Dominoes are a game of stacking a series of rectangular blocks on their ends in long lines. When the first domino is tipped over, it causes the next domino in line to tip, and so on, creating a chain reaction until all the dominoes have fallen over. Complex designs can be made with this game, and the resulting effect has led to the use of the phrase “the domino effect,” which describes any situation in which one small trigger leads to much greater—and sometimes disastrous—consequences.
When a person begins to behave differently, it often has a domino effect on others and on other aspects of his or her life. For example, when Jennifer Dukes Lee began to make her bed each day, she set a new pattern that eventually led to other behaviors in her life, such as keeping her home clean and organized. This type of behavior change is known as a cognitive domino, which refers to a shift in beliefs or actions. Good dominoes are often challenging and require a large amount of time and focus.
The physicist Stephen Morris explains that standing a domino upright gives it potential energy, which is based on the fact that its top is lifted against the pull of gravity. This energy is transferred from the domino to the surface beneath it, where it is converted to kinetic energy—the energy of motion. Some of this energy is then transmitted to the next domino, which is then pushed over by the force of gravity. This process continues for each domino in the line, causing them to fall.
Dominoes can also be used to create artistic designs. The technique is called domino art, and it has been used to create curved lines, stacked walls, grids that form pictures when they fall, and even 3D structures like pyramids and towers. People who are interested in this art can create their own creations using the same techniques that professional builders use for domino rallies, where they compete to build the most complicated and imaginative domino effects or reactions before an audience of fans.
When dominoes are used in a game, the player who scores the most points is declared the winner. The pips on each of the opposing players’ tiles are added together, and depending on the rules, doubles may count as one or two (a six-sided domino counts as 6, a four-sided domino counts as 12). Each player is given several rounds to reach their goal before the game is over.
While dominoes are fun to play, they’re also a great way to teach children about the concept of momentum. By teaching them how a small movement can cause a big change, they can learn to appreciate the impact of their own actions on the world around them. And, who knows—perhaps they’ll start to be more careful about what they say and do! After all, a domino can fall just as easily in real life as it does in a game of dominoes.