Rubik’s Cube and Math

rubiks

The Rubik’s cube is one of my favorite toys of all time. However as a kid I was naive to think that the cube was just a random puzzle. At one point the cube was advertised as having three billion combinations but only one solution. The cube actually has about 43 quintillion different positions that can occur solely by turning the cube. The amount of solutions is actually difficult to calculate due to the huge number of permutations. The way that solutions are regarded for the cube is by the number of moves to solve the cube. Currently the “God’s Number” solution, sets that the limited number of moves needed to solve any Rubik’s cube at 20 moves.

My favorite part about the Rubik’s cube however is Speed cubing. Speed cubing is essentially solving a Rubik’s cube at the fastest speed you can under certain constraints. These constraints include either using the standard solution explicitly, an average of five solves , or a single solve. The most entertaining speed cubing to watch is the single solve. This speed cube contest allows the contestant to observe the cube, after being arranged in a specific way by a set algorithm, for a limited time and the is allowed to solve. The current fastest single solve is set at 4.73s by Feliks Zemdegs from Austrailia, which happened during 2016.

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3 thoughts on “Rubik’s Cube and Math

  1. We have a Rubik’s Cube at my job and kids always try to solve it without knowing one of the solutions. It’s an entertaining little cube but I’ve never learned how to solve it myself.

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