What is Rubik’s cube?
Rubik’s cube is a 3D puzzle toy, invented in 1974 by Erno Rubik. Initially, known as the Magic Cube, but later the name changed to Rubik’s cube as a credit to the inventor.
What’s in the Feed
- Know the Cube
- Methods of solving the Rubik’s cube
- Benefits of solving Rubik’s cube
Erno Rubik was a Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture who worked at the Department of Interior design at the Academy of Applied Arts and Crafts in Budapest.
He was trying to make a 3D object, whose parts can be moved independently without altering the mechanism of the object. It was for teaching purposes. Rubik realized that he has created a puzzle when he tried to restore it after scrambling it.
Some report says that it took almost a month for Erno Rubik to solve the cube, the first time. Rubik took a patent for his Magic cube in Hungary.
The cube started selling from 1977 in Budapest. In 1980, it won a German Game of the Year award, and many similar awards too in UK, France & US.
The cube was the trending topic of that time, and by 1983 it sold about 200 million pieces worldwide. The cube never became out of fashion, it is a classic puzzle toy that attracts everyone’s mind.
You might be wondering attraction is always through eyes, but no, not in this case. It attracts the minds of the people, it makes people feel so unsatisfied/uneasy when they can’t solve it. It makes people curious about solving it.
The people used to believe that, the one solving the cube must be excellent in mathematics. While there’s no connection of intellect with the solving of the cube.
The people trying to solve the cube, can hardly complete one to two layers, and further solving messes up the whole cube. This dissatisfaction and inability to solve the cube created the craze over the world, people from ages 7 to 70 was buying the toy, which is quite a big age range for a toy.
No one can deny the fact that every single person on earth had once bought a Rubik’s cube and tried solving it. If you know how to solve it, you’ve got a thing to impress your buddies.
Know the Cube
A standard Rubik’s cube is 2.25 inches on each side. It has 6 sides with 26 unique pieces. Each side has different colours. Earlier the cube was covered with 6 different colour stickers, but later the use of colourful plastic material prevented peeling off the stickers from the cube.
The 6 colors being used are white, red, orange, green, blue, and yellow. There is a standard of the color arrangement, the white opposite to yellow, red opposite to orange, blue opposite to green. Blue, white, and orange are arranged in that order in a clockwise arrangement. This standard helps speedcubers solve the cube without any confusion.
The cube has 6 single coloured fixed pieces, 12 duo-coloured pieces, and 8 tri-coloured pieces, all of them with unique colour combination. This proves that every piece has its own unique position in the entire cube, which means to solve the cube we need to bring all the 20 movable pieces to their original unique position.
There is 3D-cross in the center holding the 6 fixed centerpieces with screws and springs. This 3D-cross holds the remaining 20 movable pieces with tension and helps in the rotating of the cube sides.
So now we know the mechanics, geometry and colour scheme of the cube, let us know the Mathematics behind it.
Initially, the cube was advertised with having over 3,000,000,000 combinations but only one solution. But later with Mathematical calculations of the possible number of combinations, the number resulted in somethings like this
Its approx. 43 quintillion.
So, with this huge number, the probability of the cube being solved becomes very very less, ordinarily. And hence, to solve the cube, some intellectual people derived some algorithms, with which it doesn’t matter whichever the combination be, the cube can be solved within 20 moves.
Algorithms are a sequence of movement of the sides of the cube to move one or more pieces to the desired position without altering the position of other pieces in the cube.
Like if the two corners are to be exchanged with their positions, the desired algorithm is there for this. Therefore, for different types of movement, different algorithms should be remembered to solve the puzzle.
So now that we know Everything about the cube, let’s know how it is solved.
GOTO AlgDb for every algorithm of different types of cube.
Methods of solving the Rubik’s cube
A normal human, who doesn’t know to solve the cube, can take his whole life still won’t be able to solve it. But with the different types of methods of solving the cube, it allowed people to solve it under 5 seconds. Yeah, it sounds too impossible, but it’s true.
So, the different methods to solve the Rubik’s cube are:
- Fridrich Method/CFOP: This is the most common and the easiest to understand the method used widely. This uses layer by layer solving concept, CFOP, means cross, F2L, OLL, PLL. Solve it yourself using CFOP- click here.
- Roux Method: Roux is just another method and a competitor to CFOP. It uses some advanced techniques of block building and with this method the cube can be solved in much fewer moves.
- ZZ: This method tries to shorten the move count in CFOP. It was developed by Zbigniew Zborowski, a Polish speedcuber.
There are many more methods but we’ll discuss only these three.
So, according to data in the table we can analyse that Fridrich/CFOP method takes an average of less time compared to other two. But it all depends person to person, one person may find CFOP faster while the other may find Roux faster.
Benefits of Solving Rubik’s cube
So why should one try to learn solving the Rubik’s cube?
What are the benefits of solving a Rubik’s cube?
Just like the board game, Chess improves your decision-making ability and patience, Rubik’s cube also has some benefits of solving it.
Just like video games, Rubik’s cube also improves eye-hand coordination. Eye-hand coordination is very important, as it improves other skills like driving, playing musical instruments, etc. Even the doctors are made to improve their eye-hand coordination before doing any surgery, as surgery requires eye-hand coordination at its top level.
It improves your muscle memory, as if you notice while solving a Rubik’s cube, you will notice that you don’t actually remember the algorithms by its notations, it is your hand which remembers all the moves in sequence. So, it is important as it helps improve your typing speed and many other things too.
Personally, it’s my experience that my eye vision has improved a lot, I can spot things very faster. This is because while solving a Rubik’s cube you need to look forward to the position of the color pieces to determine which next algorithm will be applied to further solve the whole cube. Improved vision is very useful for any person.
If you give the cube to any normal person who doesn’t know to solve the cube, you may notice that they take even more than one second to make a single move (not in case of every person, but mostly). But if you know to solve the cube and try to solve it as fast as possible, you will notice that with practice, you will be able to make more than 3 moves in just a second. It improves your reflexes too much but, don’t think you can become a Spiderman (I meant his spider senses).
– You can read my other blog on “How to solve a Rubik’s cube in 1 minute? Beginner’s Guide.”
– According to the data, the CFOP method is the fastest. But as I told earlier, it totally depends on person to person.
– Yes, every possible scramble of the Rubik’s cube can be solved in 20 moves. It is called God’s Number.
– 3.47 seconds is the current Rubik’s cube single world record, which is held by Yusheng Du.