A domino is a small rectangular game piece with anywhere from 0 to 6 dots. These are used to play a variety of games, including the popular one of matching pairs.
Dominoes are made from black metal and come in various sizes, with the most common being double-six tiles. These are usually twice as long as they are wide, which makes them easier to re-stack after use.
The game of dominoes involves laying out the dominoes end to end and scoring points if they match the numbers on both sides of the board. Players take turns to move the dominoes along the board, and in some rules they are awarded a point for each pair they find.
In other variations, the goal is to collect as many pairs as possible. With double-six dominoes, the pair is any two tiles whose pips sum to 12.
There are also several variants of the game where the pips on the ends of each tile can be flipped over and counted, or where the tally can be any number. In these variants, players can take multiple tiles at a time, and the first player to accumulate 50 points wins.
A player can also turn over a single tile, which counts as a match for a single other domino. Then the other players must try to get the same tiles as the first player, which requires that they have a similar value in their own hands.
The game of dominoes has been around since the early 18th century, and has spread to other countries as well. It is often credited with inspiring the domino effect, which refers to any situation in which one action inevitably leads to others.
Physicists have found that the way dominoes stand upright gives them potential energy, which is stored energy that can be converted to kinetic energy as the domino falls. That kinetic energy is then transmitted to the next domino, which causes it to fall too.
It is the combination of gravity and this process of converting potential to kinetic energy that causes dominoes to fall in an endless chain. It is this process that inspired the idea of the domino effect and has also been applied to other situations in which one event can cause a cascade of events.
For example, when President Eisenhower asked Robert Alsop how Communism would spread from Vietnam to other countries if the United States didn’t help, Alsop pointed to the falling domino principle as a reason why it was crucial for America to take action.
Another example of the domino effect is in the world of medicine. When patients become infected in the course of medical treatment, it can be very hard to treat them properly without triggering other infections.
This is because the bacteria can mutate and grow in the body. This can lead to an infection in a different part of the body than the original infection. This can even cause the infection to spread from person to person.