The Domino Effect

A domino is a piece of a larger structure that rests upon a smaller one and, when knocked over, sets off a chain reaction. A person who creates a large, intricate domino arrangement is known as a domino artist, and they often use science to accomplish their feats. The most important physical phenomenon to consider when creating a domino layout is gravity. Heavily influenced by this force, the largest and most detailed domino creations can take several nail-biting minutes to fall into place.

A Domino Effect can be seen in any situation where one small action leads to a series of larger events. This principle was emphasized in a political setting when U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower used the example of the falling dominoes to illustrate how Communism could spread throughout the world if not stopped. Since then, the term has been used to describe any series of events that follow from a small trigger.

The game of domino is a fun and engaging way to spend time with family and friends. The objective is to score points by laying down tiles so that the exposed ends touch each other. The first player to do this wins the round. Each tile must be played to the end of a matching pair (one’s touching two’s or three’s touching four’s) with the exposed ends showing a number. If the exposed numbers total a multiple of five the player scores that number of points.

Unlike playing cards, which are functionally identical to dominoes, dominoes have a distinctive shape and are made of materials like bone or wood. Most dominoes are marked with a pattern of dots, called pips, on one side and are blank or identically patterned on the other. Some larger dominoes are marked with more readable Arabic numerals, which can be helpful for people with limited vision or other conditions.

As the pips on a domino are arranged in different ways, it is possible to create a number of games and variations that can be played with the pieces. Block games, where players place dominoes side by side to form lines, are the most common, but there are also drawing and trick-taking games that can be played. Dominoes can be adapted to many other types of board games, and some variations even incorporate the use of dice.

Stephen Morris, a University of Toronto physicist, demonstrated the power of a domino effect in 2009 when he set up 13 dominoes, each approximately one-and-a-half times larger than the previous domino. He pointed out that each domino had potential energy, a stored form of energy based on its position, and as it fell much of that energy was converted to kinetic energy. Similarly, when writing fiction, considering the potential energy of a scene and how it might be converted to kinetic energy can help you craft a captivating story. Whether you compose your novel off the cuff or use a carefully outlined process, a little thinking about the domino effect can make your novel more engaging for readers.