Dominoes are a classic toy that can be used for many purposes. They can be used to make straight lines, curved lines, or grids that form pictures when they fall. They can also be stacked to create towers and pyramids. In addition, they can be used to play games of skill and chance. Dominoes are often used to illustrate the domino effect, which refers to a chain of events that start with one simple action and ultimately result in much greater—and sometimes catastrophic—consequences.
A domino is a small, rectangular tile with a printed number of dots in one or more of its corners. Each spot is a potential contact point with another domino, or other surface. When a domino is struck, it transfers its energy to the next domino in line, which then moves, and so on, until the entire chain of dominoes falls over. This transfer of energy, and the subsequent impact of each falling domino, has led to the phrase “domino effect.”
When a person reaches for the first domino in a row of stacked ones, their finger will be brushed by the tops of other dominoes that have accumulated on the stack. This is because the stack of dominoes has an inertia, or tendency to resist motion when no external force is exerted on it. The friction between the tops of the dominoes and their resting surface also converts some of their energy into heat and sound. Then, when the first domino is tipped over by a slight impulse, all the energy that was stored in the other dominoes is released and they all fall at once.
Most domino sets consist of 28 tiles, a number that is ideal for most games played with two or more people. Larger sets are available, including double-nine (55 tiles). These larger dominoes can be used to play a variety of different layout games, which fall into two broad categories: blocking and scoring games.
Some domino sets are made from natural materials, such as bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory or a dark hardwood such as ebony, with contrasting black or white pips. These sets have a more unique look and feel than those made from polymer material. Other types of dominoes are made from other stones such as marble, granite and soapstone; metals like brass or pewter; ceramic clay; or even glass or crystal.
Nick Morris, an amateur woodworker from Australia, developed a method of making dominoes in his grandmother’s garage. He wanted to create a domino that was simple enough to be manageable in a confined workshop but detailed enough to demonstrate his skill and attention to detail. His goal was to attract attention from the public and earn respect for his work.
A domino accident occurs when an initial incident damages or disables equipment, which may then cause secondary incidents that lead to the escalation of the chain reaction. This phenomenon is referred to as a “domino effect,” and the risk analysis process involves identifying and managing the key elements of a potential accident.