The Power of Domino

Domino is a flat, thumbsized rectangular block with one face bearing from one to six spots or dots, usually alternately colored and blank, and the other face divided visually into two square parts that may be marked with an arrangement of dots or dots (known as “pips”). Each domino is a unit of play in many games. A complete set of dominoes consists of 28 such pieces. The word domino is also used to refer to the various games played with such pieces, including solitaire and a scoring version of fives-and-threes in which players attach one end of a domino from their hand to a side of a previously-played domino that contains numbers divisible by five or three, thereby earning points for each time the sum of the ends can be divided by those numbers.

Dominos have a long history, both as a recreational game and as tools for teaching mathematics, geometry, algebra, and probability. The name comes from the Italian diminutive of domanda, meaning “table.” Early in their development, dominoes were made with wood or ivory, but since the mid-18th century they have been produced in many different synthetic materials.

When Lily Hevesh was 9 years old, her grandparents gave her a traditional 28-piece domino set and she began creating amazing domino designs on her own. Now, at 20 years old, Hevesh is a professional domino artist and has millions of YouTube subscribers watching her create mind-blowing domino setups. Hevesh is able to create these incredible creations because of one very important physical phenomenon: gravity.

While most people may have a domino set and have played some games with them, few know how powerful dominoes are. A 1983 study by University of British Columbia physicist Lorne Whitehead demonstrated that even a domino about the size of a Tic Tac can be knocked over if it receives enough force. The effect is due to potential energy that is converted to kinetic energy, or the energy of motion, as a domino is moved toward its target. This energy is transmitted to the next domino, causing it to push and thus trigger its own fall. This chain reaction continues until the last domino has fallen.

Similarly, dominoes can be used as a metaphor for advancing scenes in novels and nonfiction writing. Each scene is like a domino, and when placed in order they naturally influence the next scene. When it’s done right, a novel or nonfiction piece can flow smoothly. But this can only be achieved if each domino is created to be effective in its role. This requires an understanding of how each scene works together to advance the story and make it believable. This is why it’s so important to listen to your readers and respond to their feedback. Domino’s commitment to listening to employees and customers led to new policies and procedures that made their business better, including a relaxed dress code and a revamped college recruiting system.