Domino is a small wood or plastic block, marked with dots resembling those on dice, that can be stacked on end to form long lines. When a domino is knocked over, it triggers the next domino in line to tip, and so on, until all of the dominoes have fallen. Incredibly complex designs can be created by stacking dominoes on top of each other. This has led to the expression “the domino effect,” meaning that a single action can have larger and more widespread consequences than anticipated.
Dominoes are played as games and used in art projects to demonstrate simple physics principles. For example, one of the most popular uses of domino is to create intricate patterns by arranging them on the floor and then “knocking them over.” This is an activity that can be enjoyed with children or adults, and it can illustrate the concept of simple cause and effect.
The earliest known domino sets were made of wood or ivory, and they typically featured either black or white pips inlaid on the edges of the tiles. Since then, dominoes have been made from a variety of materials, including silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), bone, and various dark hardwoods such as ebony. These traditional dominoes have a more unique look than polymer-based sets and can be very expensive.
Although domino is most often played with a single player, it can be played in groups of two to four players. A domino game begins with each player drawing a number of tiles from the deck. Each player places his or her tiles on-edge in front of him, and the first player to place a domino (determined by drawing lots, or by the heaviest hand) starts the chain reaction.
As the dominoes are placed, each one is matched with a tile of the same type on the table. The matching of sides on the dominoes is what determines their value, and the goal is to get all of your tiles in a row before anyone else. Some people choose to make the blank side of the domino “wild,” and this can change the way a game is played.
Physicist Stephen Morris explains that the initial dominoes are held upright by the force of gravity. He says that each domino has potential energy based on its position, and when the first one falls, most of this energy is converted to kinetic energy, which causes the next domino to fall. This creates a domino effect, and each successive falling domino moves faster and more rapidly than the previous one.
In business, a domino can be an important project that is viewed as having the highest impact on an organization. To ensure the project’s success, its creator must rank all of the tasks associated with it in order of importance and focus all of his or her attention on the most significant task until it is completed. This approach helps prevent other tasks from distracting employees and preventing them from working on the most important work.