Solve the Rubik’s Cube ASAP


rubik-solved.jpgI’ve never managed to solve the Rubik’s Cube back in my day, and even until today I have yet to figure out the darned thing. The closest that I’ve managed (without any external help) would be having two rows of complete colors on all sides, with the last row confounding me over and over again. Each time I took a look at it, I could feel it taunting me as though I was less than human. There wasn’t any Internet back then to check out the type of solutions available for the Rubik’s Cube, but how times have changed. A number crunching supercomputer now allows one to solve the Rubik’s Cube in 26 moves or less, no matter how complicated it looks like in the first place. That’s pretty neat, and assuming one took less than a second to complete each move, the total time involved to solve it might even fall to one third of a minute.

While we reap the fruits of the supercomputer’s hard work, let us spare a moment to remember that this computer took 63 hours to come out with the most optimal solution. The two computer scientists (Daniel Kunkle and Gene Cooperman) spearheading this project have faith that further research will enable them to achieve an even lower count. Bear in mind that there are 43 billion billion possible Rubik’s Cube positions in the first place, and sheer number crunching would take far too long even for a supercomputer. This caused both of them to use a two-step technique in their calculations that resulted in the supercomputer churning out 15,000 half solved solutions.

From this pool of half solved solutions, further programming enabled the supercomputer to full solve any disordered cube within 29 moves, but most of these solutions took 26 moves or fewer. After sorting that part out, the researchers then focused on the relatively few configurations that took more than the average 26 moves to further search for the most optimal method. Further research showed that the supercomputer managed to solve these “problem” cases in less than 26 moves eventually. Although the magical number containing the minimum amount of moves required to solve any disordered Rubik’s Cube has not yet been found, these two young lads believe they are extremely close to the final answer. As for me, I’ve moved on to Tetris and Meteos.

Source: BBC

2 reviews or comments

Michiel Says: September 27, 2007 at 6:36 pm

Check this Rubik’s cube tutorial if you still want to learn to solve it.

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