Computer proves Rubik's Cube solvable in 26 moves or less — that's 26 years too late for me

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rubiks_cube.gifA computer at the Northeastern University in Boston has calculated that any configuration of the classic Rubik’s Cube can be solved in a maximum of 26 moves.

This astounding news comes just weeks after scientists programmed a computer played the perfect game of draughts. Haven’t these computers got anything better to be doing with their CPUs?

The Rubik’s Cube has 43 quintillion (43,000,000,000,000,000,000) possible combinations, so the scientists had to simplify the problem by figuring out which arrangements of the Cube are equivalent, identifying special arrangements of the Cube, and not analysing combinations already solvable in under 26 moves.

The previous record for proving the minimum number of moves stood at 27, though it’s believed that the Cube can be solved in as few as 20 moves.

This is all very well, but it comes two-and-a-half decades too late for me. I struggled to the point of busting the Rubik’s Cube trying to solve it, and all I had was a cheap solutions book printed in black and white (no, really, how useful is that?)

I no longer own a Rubik’s Cube, nor any other of his fiendish puzzles – I usually found that the springs broke or the toy otherwise disintegrated. I need a computer to tell me how not to break them.

(Via New Scientist)

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Andy Merrett

One thought on “Computer proves Rubik's Cube solvable in 26 moves or less — that's 26 years too late for me

  • They needed a supercomputer to figure out what we all knew in 1977?

    We had a complete solution worked out in our Class in Germany. All of us where 10 and 11 years old.
    Longest move was 28. shortest was 26.
    Best finish time was 21 seconds.

    Why do you need a super computer to work something like this out.
    Mmmhhh…

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