Dominoes are black and white rectangles with a line down the center that separates each end into two squares. Each square has a number of dots on it—called pips—or is blank. People use dominoes to play games, or to make designs with them. People also call them bones, tiles, stones, or tickets.
The earliest known set of dominoes was made from ivory and ebony in 1812. It was large, with 91 pieces. Over the years, many different kinds of domino sets were produced, from inexpensive polymer ones to expensive hand-carved stone and wood ones. Each type of set had its own rules for how the pieces could be used.
In modern times, the word domino has become mainly associated with a game in which players try to knock over as many of the pieces as possible. This game can be played with either one or more opponents and is usually won by the player who has the most complete domino chain at the end of the game.
The game is played by drawing and placing dominoes on a table, typically in a way that each player can see only their own. The first player—determined by drawing of lots or by who holds the heaviest domino—plays the first tile. The tiles are then shuffled again, and the next player draws and places a tile on top of the previous one. This process continues until all the tiles have been played, or the players reach a point where they cannot play any more dominoes. The remaining tiles are called the boneyard.
Hevesh has built a career out of creating mind-blowing domino installations. She creates them by following a version of the engineering-design process. She considers the theme or purpose of the installation, and brainstorms images or words that might be represented by the dominoes she is using. She then decides on the order in which the dominoes will be placed, and the arrangement of the dominoes within that arrangement.
As Hevesh works, she thinks about the energy in the dominoes and how they might interact with each other. She considers the friction that will occur between the dominoes and their surroundings, such as the surface on which they are placed. She also considers the force needed to knock over each domino, and how the dominoes will impact each other as they fall.
When a domino is pushed onto the edge of another domino, it converts some of its potential energy into kinetic energy, which can push on other dominoes. This energy travels from the first domino to the other, and from there to the next, and so on. The result is a domino chain that eventually falls over.