A domino is a small, flat block of wood or plastic used as a gaming object. Each domino has one side bearing a pattern of spots, called pips, similar to those on dice, and the other side is blank or identically patterned. Dominoes are often played on a smooth, hard surface such as a table. They can be arranged into rows, lines, or a circular arrangement, and the goal is to knock them all over. Dominoes have a long history of use, and are also known as bones, pieces, men, or cards. Dominoes are a form of chance, but they can be carefully planned to achieve certain goals such as scoring the most points or building an intricate structure.
While it may seem like a simple game of luck, the way in which Dominoes fall is controlled by a combination of factors including friction and gravity. When a domino is pushed, it creates a force that pushes other dominoes in its row toward the ground. This force is greater than the weight of each individual domino, but not enough to cause them to topple unless it is applied with a lot of pressure. As the row of dominoes moves downhill, each one is pushed by the next until a single domino has sufficient momentum to tip over.
The way in which dominoes are arranged and the amount of pressure applied to each piece depends on how the game is played. The most basic arrangement is a straight row with the first domino placed on its end, followed by the rest of the pieces, all of which must touch the ends of the previous tile. A tile may be laid on a double (a domino with two matching sides) and must be positioned so that the exposed ends match, for example, one’s touching one’s or two’s touching two’s.
Dominoes are also able to move on their own because of gravity. A Dominoes that is positioned on the edge of a table, for example, is prone to fall over on its side or back, but it can be slid off the edge to avoid this fate. Dominoes can also be stacked on each other, with the stacks supported by the pieces beneath them.
Hevesh’s domino installations are often mind-blowing, and the physics behind them are complex. But she says there’s one physical phenomenon that makes her projects possible: “Gravity is the main thing.”
Hevesh starts each project with a theme or purpose in mind, and then brainstorms images or words that might represent it. Once she has a general idea, she starts by laying out test sections. She then builds on these sections, and finally connects them all together. She videotapes each section in slow motion to make sure it works properly, and she makes adjustments as needed. This process allows her to build 3-D sections as well as flat arrangements, and to set a Guinness record for the most dominoes in a circular arrangement.