Dominoes are a fun way to pass the time. You can line them up to make curved lines, grids that form pictures when they fall, or even 3D structures like towers and pyramids. And although the process of creating one of these designs can take days or weeks, once you start, it takes only a tiny nudge to set them in motion. Whether you’re playing with a few friends or lining them up to create an intricate design, it’s fascinating to watch dominoes fall and begin a chain reaction. The phenomenon behind it, however, is a result of simple physics.
A domino is a small, rectangular piece of wood or other rigid material that is used as a gaming object. They are variously known as bones, pieces, men, or stones. Most people think of them as toy dominoes that can be tipped over, but they are also used in complex games of skill and strategy.
The most common use for dominoes is to play a game of chance or skill. In these games, each player places a domino on its edge against another tile with its matching end touching fully. Each domino has a number showing on one end or the other, which is usually referred to by its pips. A domino with two matching ends is called a double. The number on each end is a function of the domino’s position on the table. A double with a 2 on one end and a 5 on the other is referred to as a “2-5″ or a “double-six.”
Hevesh has created massive installations that can contain hundreds of thousands of dominoes, and each requires several nail-biting minutes for them to fall in their desired configuration. But the domino artist credits a single physical phenomenon for her creations: gravity. “When a domino is standing upright, lifting against the force of gravity, it stores some potential energy,” says Stephen Morris, a physicist at the University of Toronto. “But when the domino falls, much of that potential energy is converted to kinetic energy, causing the next domino to topple.”
When Jennifer Dukes Lee began making her bed every morning, she wasn’t trying to establish a new personal habit. But she quickly realized that the little change had a large impact on her overall outlook and helped her build identity-based habits that would help her achieve her goals. This is the Domino Effect, a concept that can be applied to many areas of life and business.
In the world of Domino’s, the company’s 30-minute guarantee caused its own series of problems — and not just for pizza delivery drivers. The company’s policy put its employees at risk, and was eventually discontinued after a series of accidents including one death. Domino’s responded by embracing its core value of Championing Our Customers and listening to complaints in order to improve customer service.