How Dominoes Work


When a domino is dropped, it creates a chain reaction. Each subsequent domino depends on the previous one to do its job. Once it does, the energy from that domino is transmitted to the next, and so on. But before that happens, each domino must have the right amount of potential energy to make its way to its tipping point.

Dominoes are small rectangular blocks of wood or plastic, each with a face divided into two parts, either blank or marked by dots resembling those on dice. A complete set of dominoes has 28 such blocks. The term domino also refers to any of the several games played with these blocks, in which players match the ends of adjacent pieces and lay them down in lines or angular patterns.

Lily Hevesh was 9 years old when she began playing with her grandparents’ classic 28-piece set. She quickly fell in love with the game, and by age 10, she’d begun posting videos of her domino creations on YouTube. Now, Hevesh is a professional domino artist, creating mind-blowing setups for movies, TV shows, and events—including a concert tour for Katy Perry.

When Hevesh creates a new domino effect, she starts by considering the theme or purpose of the installation. Then, she brainstorms images or words that might help bring that idea to life. She might draw inspiration from nature, history, or pop culture. For example, if the movie she’s working on is a romance, she might research era-appropriate architecture and fashion to inform her design choices.

A domino can be used for a wide range of purposes, including building structures, creating art, and even making a model of the solar system. It can be a useful tool for teaching children about geometry and how different shapes fit together. In the past, people used dominoes to practice mathematics and social skills, and they’ve also been a popular form of entertainment for generations.

One of the most common uses for a domino is in a game called draw. In this game, each player has a turn to play a tile onto the table, positioning it so that both ends of the domino chain touch that tile. After each player plays a tile, the remaining players check the chains to see if they can play a tile that will increase the length of the chain. If they cannot, the winner is the player whose chains have the most points.

In the context of writing, domino can refer to a sequence of scenes that advance the storyline in a natural way. A good example of this would be a scene where the heroine finds a clue that leads to the antagonist uncovering more evidence. Then, in the next scene, the antagonist might act in a way that raises tension and makes the reader wonder what will happen.

A related idea, known as the Domino Effect, states that if you change one behavior, it can trigger a chain reaction, and influence other behaviors in a similar way. For example, if you decide to stop spending so much time on sedentary activities, you might find that you’re naturally consuming less fat in your diet.