Dominoes are small, flat blocks used as gaming objects. They are often stacked on end in long lines, and when one is knocked over it causes the rest of the dominoes to topple as well. The resulting chain reaction can form complex patterns and is the basis for many games. These games are sometimes called “blocking” or “scoring” games, and they can involve a great deal of strategy. Dominoes are also used for artistic purposes, and have been referred to as bones, pieces, men, stones or cards.
While some people use dominoes as toys, others create intricate designs using them. These designs can be simple or extremely complicated, and can be made from a variety of materials including bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother-of-pearl) and ivory. Some sets are painted or carved with pips (dots) or other motifs, while other sets feature the natural grain of a wood such as ebony. Most modern dominoes are a composite of polymers such as polystyrene and epoxy resin, although older sets were often made of clay or other natural materials.
Nick Schwab is one example of a domino artist who uses the principles of domino to achieve creative results. He began his career as a steel worker, but later became a domino craftsman. He wanted to design a set that could be made with the basic tools found in most homes, including a drill press, radial arm saw, scroll saw and belt sander. He was successful, and his creations drew attention from woodworking experts.
Hevesh has worked on projects that require several thousand dominoes, and has helped to set the Guinness World Record for the most dominoes toppled in a circular arrangement: 76,017. When constructing her larger projects, she carefully plans out each section before starting the actual construction. She also films the process so that she can make precise corrections if necessary.
In addition to planning her layouts, Hevesh is also careful to select the best dominoes to use in a given project. She looks for dominoes that have the potential to make a large impact on a finished project. This is important, because good dominoes are usually challenging and require a lot of time and focus to complete.
The most common domino sets contain 28 tiles with a number of dots or pips on each side, ranging from one to six. Some sets are more elaborate, with a single domino featuring two different numbers in a suit. Some sets have a mix of both numbers and blanks, and can be played in either suit.
Stephen Morris, a physicist at the University of Toronto, says that when a domino is standing upright, it has potential energy. When it is pushed over, however, most of that potential energy is converted to kinetic energy, or the energy of motion. This is what causes the domino to fall, and it is what causes the next domino to topple in turn, and the next, and the next.