Domino – A Game of Strategy, Math, and Physics

Domino is a game that combines elements of strategy, math, and physics. Players take turns placing tiles edge-to-edge against one another in order to either form a set total or a specific combination. The player who reaches the target score or who amasses the most points wins the game. The first domino to be placed is called the “start” tile and all subsequent tiles played against it must be adjacent to the start tile. Open ends are then formed by the second and third tiles, with pips on each end matching the number of the previous tile played. For example, if the first tile is a 6-6, the next tile may be a 6-4, or to the right of it, a 6-3, resulting in open ends of 5 and 6. In some versions, players are required to play sleeping tiles against the start tile in order to form a complete set. Occasionally, a double is placed on the first tile to produce open ends of a different number. These are referred to as “doubles” or “duplets.” A set of dominoes consists of 28 or 55 tiles. The most common commercial sets are double six (28 tiles) and double nine (55 tiles). Larger sets exist and can be used for layout games or for playing dominoes with more than four players. Most games of dominoes are positional. Depending on the game, the goal is to place the tile in such a way that the adjacent faces are identical or form some specified total. In addition, doubles and blanks are sometimes counted differently in the scoring, and some sets use Arabic numerals instead of pips. Dominoes can be used for a variety of games, including positional dominoes, draw games, and cross games. There are also variations on these games, such as knock-down dominoes and shuffled dominoes. Some of the most beautiful and intricate domino art is created by a woman who has no formal training in the arts. She grew up in a family where her father made wooden toys and crafted wooden puzzles. She was always interested in creating art and had plenty of woodworking tools at her disposal. She started experimenting with dominoes, and found that she could create mind-blowing installations using the simple material. She followed the engineering-design process to create her masterpieces, beginning with an idea and brainstorming images or words she wanted to use. Once she had the basic design, Hevesh would test it out to ensure that everything was working properly. She then filmed each section of her installation in slow motion, making corrections as needed. As she worked, Hevesh learned about how gravity works and the key role it plays in her projects. She realized that when a domino is knocked over, much of its potential energy converts to kinetic energy. This energy is then transmitted to the next domino, giving it the necessary push to fall. Hevesh says that the most important physical phenomenon in her installations is gravity, which pulls a domino toward the ground and sends it crashing into the next one. This force is so strong that a domino that is half a foot tall can knock down a domino that is 50% larger than it. This chain reaction is a reminder of how the power of one spark can lead to explosive growth.