Domino (singular: dominoes; plural: dominoes) is a small rectangular block of wood or plastic with a blank or patterned face and one or more sides marked with an arrangement of dots resembling those on dice. A domino set contains 28 such blocks, although larger sets are available. The word domino also refers to a game played with such blocks, as well as to the rules and tactics of the games.
Some people like to line up dominoes in long rows and knock them over; others play a variety of games with them. Whether you’re an amateur domino artist or simply interested in the way things fall, you may have noticed how satisfying it is to tip a single domino just so, causing all the rest of the pieces to cascade down in a rhythmic sequence. What makes this effect possible is a property of the bricks themselves. Depending on their construction, each domino has different amounts of potential energy and kinetic energy; some of this energy is transmitted from one domino to the next. The result is a chain reaction that continues until the last domino falls.
The physics of dominoes is a fascinating subject. As a domino artist, Hevesh works to create mind-blowing designs that make use of this principle. Her creations have even helped her to set a Guinness World Record for the most dominoes toppled in a circular arrangement. To achieve her goals, Hevesh uses a process similar to that used in engineering design. She considers the theme or purpose of her work, brainstorms images or words associated with it, and studies its intended physical impact. She then develops a series of sketches that show how she might build her masterpiece.
Once she has the final sketch, Hevesh begins to lay down the pieces on the ground. She then tests each piece to see how it will interact with the other elements of her layout, making necessary adjustments as she goes along. Finally, she combines the individual pieces to form her final design. When the entire setup is in place, Hevesh simply lets it fall according to the laws of physics.
Just as each domino has its own unique physical properties, each piece of writing has its own corresponding effect on the reader. Considering how to use this phenomenon can help you create more interesting and compelling stories. Whether you write off the cuff or carefully plot out every action and reaction in advance, it’s important to remember that your readers will respond to the story by deciding what happens next—and how it will affect the people around them. The domino effect can be a powerful tool for writers, but it’s important to know how and when to use it. This week’s Wonder of the Day will help you do just that.