Interesting Facts About Rubik’s Cube

Rubiks-Cube

Picture courtesy of Intel Corporation.

Everyone of us must have had a Rubik’s Cube to solve at some point in our lives.  Invented over 3 decades ago by a Hungarian sculptor and architect Ernő Rubik., Rubik’s Cube is still one of the most famous puzzle games around.

Here are some interesting facts about Rubik’s Cube that you might not know.

  • Initially, Rubik’s Cube wasn’t meant to be a puzzle game rather an equipment to solve structural problem of moving the parts independently without the entire mechanism falling apart. Rubik did not realize that he had created a puzzle until the first time he scrambled his new Cube and then tried to restore it.
  • A 3 x 3 x 3 Rubik’s Cube has 43 quintillion (43,000,000,000,000,000,000,0) permutations (remember high school calculus?).
  • If one had as many standard sized Rubik’s Cubes as there are permutations, one could cover the Earth’s surface 275 times.
  • David Singmaster developed one of the most optimised methods to solve a Rubik’s Cube. If this method is followed, the cube can be solved in 100 moves regardless of its  initial (scrambled) stage. If practised, the solution can be achieved in under 1 minute.
  • In recent years, many mathematicians and programmers worked on the optimal solution for Rubik’s Cube and in July 2010, a team of researchers working with Google, proved the so-called “God’s number” to be 20. Hence a 3 x 3 x 3 Rubik’s Cube can now be solved in exactly 20 permutations.
  • The current world record for single time on a 3 × 3 × 3 Rubik’s Cube was set by Mats Valk of the Netherlands in March 2013 with a time of 5.55 seconds at the Zonhoven Open in Belgium.
  • The fastest non-human time for a physical 3×3×3 Rubik’s Cube is 5.27 seconds, set by CubeStormer II, a robot.

I’m thinking about buying a typical 4 x 4 x 4 Rubik’s Cube to play with it in free time. Seems like a good mental exercise.

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