Wonder of the Day: Domino Domino Sculptures


Dominos have a long history as a fun toy and a way of learning about physics. But did you know that they can also be used to create mind-blowing sculptures and art pieces? In this Wonder of the Day, we’ll explore some of these amazing domino creations.

A domino is a rectangular tile that has a line in the middle that divides it into two squares. One side of the domino is marked with a pattern of spots that look like those on a die. The other side of the domino is blank or identically patterned. Dominoes are usually made of wood or plastic, and they come in a set with 28 tiles. You can find them at most toy stores. Dominoes are also often used to play games, such as dominoes or a variant called tic-tac-toe.

When a domino is pushed over, it triggers a chain reaction that spreads outward, similar to how a nerve impulse travels down your axon. A domino can knock over things that are up to one-and-a-half times its size. Scientists call this domino effect “the Domino Principle.”

Hevesh began creating her spectacular domino setups when she was just 10 years old, and by age 12, she was posting videos of her work on YouTube. Now, she’s a professional domino artist who has created sets for movies, TV shows, and events—including the album launch of pop star Katy Perry. Some of her largest installations take several nail-biting minutes to fall.

To make a domino sculpture, Hevesh starts by considering the theme or purpose of the piece. Then she brainstorms images or words that might be appropriate for the design. Once she has a general idea of the layout, she starts laying the dominoes down in a precise sequence. As she goes, she checks for accuracy and adjusts the dominoes as needed.

Then comes the most difficult part: waiting for the dominoes to fall. Hevesh’s domino sculptures require a lot of patience, as each domino must be positioned perfectly to ensure that it can reach the end of its row. But the payoff is worth it: when a domino is pushed over, much of its potential energy turns into kinetic energy, or the energy of motion. This energy then passes to the next domino, providing the push it needs to tumble over. And so on, until the whole row falls.

The process may seem laborious, but Hevesh believes that the time spent is well worth it. She loves the challenge of achieving the most complicated domino effects and reactions possible. And her audiences love seeing the impressive results of her work.