A Wooden Domino Tree by Qiu Zhijie

A Wooden Domino Tree by Qiu Zhijie wood trees math installation dominoes

A Wooden Domino Tree by Qiu Zhijie wood trees math installation dominoes

A Wooden Domino Tree by Qiu Zhijie wood trees math installation dominoes

A Wooden Domino Tree by Qiu Zhijie wood trees math installation dominoes

The Small Knocking Down the Big is a 2009 installation by Chinese artist Qiu Zhijie made from hundreds of cut wooden dominoes meant to loosely demonstrate the effects of something that has become known as Domino Magnification (if you really, really enjoy physics see the recent work of J. M. J. van Leeuwen). The basic premise is that any domino can knock over another domino that’s roughly 1.5 times larger, meaning that if you gently pushed a normal sized domino into a chain of bricks that increase in size each time by 1.5, the 32nd object will be large enough to topple the Empire State Building. In the video example above it takes only 13 dominoes starting with an object the size of a bean to knock over a 100 lb. slab!

Zhijie’s installation is somewhat less mathematical and more visual, but the same mathematical principles hold true. Participants are invited to knock over the smalles dominoes at the outer branches of the installation which eventually gain enough momentum to knock over the thicker blocks at the trunk. (via lustik)

See related posts on Colossal about , , , , .