Domino is a game that uses a series of rectangular, black and white pieces called dominoes. There are several different versions of the game, including positional games, where players line up dominoes edge to edge and try to knock them down. They are also used for other fun games like spinning, lining up in long rows and even playing a card game with them.
When I was a kid, my favorite games were dominoes! I remember having a big set of them and laying them out on my kitchen table to play against friends. They were so fun and exciting, that I never wanted to stop!
I still have that set. I still play with it often, and it’s always a good time.
The word domino comes from the French phrase “dominoes de masquerade” which is derived from a hooded cape that was worn by priests at carnival time and a masquerade. The term appeared in French shortly after 1750, and may have originated from the priest’s hooded cape contrasting with his white surplice.
These early dominoes were made of dark wood and had a black or white stripe across the top. In later years, dominoes were made from a variety of materials, including ivory and bone. Some domino sets feature the top half of the piece in silver-lip ocean pearl (MOP) or oyster shell, while the lower half is usually a dark hardwood such as ebony.
This contrast of color creates a sense of symmetry, and it makes the dominoes easier to stack together after they’ve been played with. They are also easy to repair.
They are also a great example of how some toys stand the test of time! Many people play dominoes for decades, and they are still a popular toy today.
In 1983, physicist Lorne Whitehead published an article in the American Journal of Physics about a series of dominoes that demonstrated a mathematical concept called the domino “chain reaction.” This concept describes how one domino can knock down another that is 50% larger than itself, and how this process creates an exponential growth pattern.
When I was a student, I was fascinated by this phenomenon and I tried to come up with an explanation for it. I found it difficult to explain, and it didn’t make much sense.
So I decided to do some research and found that the domino effect can be explained with some simple physics. When a domino is standing upright, it stores potential energy because it’s lifting against the pull of gravity.
As it falls, however, that potential energy is converted to kinetic energy, which is the energy of motion. Some of that energy is transmitted to the next domino, providing a push that causes it to fall too.
This chain reaction is an example of what physicists call the Law of Large Numbers, which states that if you add a small amount of energy to a larger amount of energy, the larger amount will be more powerful than the smaller amount. When you’re trying to solve a problem, it can be very tempting to try and apply this law to something larger and more complex, but it’s best to start with the small stuff first.