Rubik's Cube Solutions!

Published on Thursday, May 15, 2008 in , , , ,

Rubik's CubeWhile I enjoy many types of puzzles, I grew up as an '80s kid, and will always have a special place in my heart and mind for the now-classic Rubik's Cube. There were, and still are, some excellent books on solving and even speed solving the Rubik's Cube, but I've never felt that books were the right medium for teaching how to solve it.

Early on, the internet as a whole, and even the web in particular, wasn't well suited for teaching explanation, either. However, thanks to technologies like Java, and the explosion of video technology, the web has become an excellent resource for learning about the cube.

As many of you may already know, the cube has 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 (over 43 quintillion) possible arrangements. What might be surprising to you is that it has been proven that none of these arrangements require more than 26 moves to solve. If you already know how, you may get lucky and solve a particular arrangement in less than 26 moves, but doing consistently would really only be possible with an extraordinary amount of memory or time, referred to by puzzlers as God's Algorithm.

If your interest is in just being able to solve the cube, you won't need to worry about the time or total number of moves. An excellent general solution can be found at How To Do Things: How To Solve a Rubik's Cube. Besides giving clear instructions and excellent examples of the various moves, this article also gives you a great idea of what to expect when you move on to more advanced solutions.

This basic method can be further clarified with help from Wikibooks: How to solve the Rubik's Cube and the videos at 3x3 Rubik's Cubes For Dummies.

If you decide you want to bring down your total number of moves, ScienceHack features a video that gives you a method for always solving the cube in less than 100 moves. While you're there, you may want to check out their one-part video and part 1 and part 2 of their two-part solution videos, as well.

To improve from there, the best resources can be found in the earlier-mentioned How To Do Things article. The Fridrich Methodand the Petrus Method are excellent for developing your speed cubing. Once you've gained some experience in it, you may want to move on to the Roux Method.

Of course, if you don't have the patience, and want a solution for the cube that's easy and quick, you could always try this approach. That link reminds me, there are numerous Rubik's Cube links over at grow-a-brain, if you're just looking for some plain old fun.

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