If you’ve never seen a Rubik Cube, you must have been living under a rock for the past 40 years!
What is a Rubik’s Cube
The colorful little cube is the most successful puzzle ever, with more than 350 millions items sold, and that’s probably not counting the countless ripoffs you can find at fairs all over the world.
The standard Rubik’s Cube has 9 squares on each side. A solved cube should have all the sides in a single color, that is use you should rotate the cubelets that make up the cube until all the squares of one color are grouped together. Originally, the colors were white, red, blue, orange, green, and yellow, but today you might find models in various shades. What is truly impressive about this little toy is the complex internal mechanism that allows the pieces to move against each other without the whole thing falling apart. Well, there have been many players fascinated with the concept who actually took apart a cube to see how it works.
How to Solve a Rubik’s Cube
Many novices make the mistake of being overly confident when they first lay their hands on a Rubik’s cube. It can’t be that hard, you move some cubelets around and they’ll fall into place, right? Such an approach is dead wrong, as many soon discover.
The first one to come up with a method to solve this puzzle was British math teacher David Singmaster who published a book on Rubik’s Cube in 1981. According to him, you should not focus on a side, but rather concentrate on layers. Solve the top layer first, then go on with the middle and solving the bottom layer should be easy. If you take this approach, you should be able to solve the puzzle in less than a minute.
Another method is to try to solve the corners first.
Computer programs have also been used to analyze the best way to solve a Rubik’s Cube and in 2010 a team of researchers came to the conclusion that it can be rearranged in 20 moves. Well, that depends on the starting configuration so don’t beat yourself if you’ve been scrambling the little cubes for 30 minutes and you’re no way near a solution.
History of Rubik’s Cube
As the name says, the puzzle was invented by this Rubik guy, whose full name is Erno Rubik, a Hungarian sculptor and architecture professor. He invented the game in 1974 and took out a patent in 1975. At first, it was only sold locally, but in 1980 it had reached the Western world where the Rubik craze began.
Today, the versions of the popular cube are produced by various companies, and sometimes it’s not even a cube anymore. There are some easy 4×4 versions, but there are some models increasingly complex, with dozens of rotating cubes. If you’re new to this game, better start with the basic model.