Thursday, June 30, 2011

Rubik's Cube - The Ultimate Magic Cube


    The Rubik's Cube also called Magic Cube is a 3-D mechanical puzzle and is named after its inventor Ernő Rubik.The puzzle was licensed by Rubik to be sold by Ideal Toy Corporation in 1980 and won the German Game of the Year special award for Best Puzzle that year.It is widely considered to be the world's best-selling toy and world's top-selling puzzle game.

Invention:
   Rubik's cube invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture Ernő Rubik.Although it is widely reported that the Cube was built as a teaching tool to help his students understand 3D objects, his actual purpose was solving the structural problem of moving the parts independently without the entire mechanism falling apart Rubik.He did not realize that he had created a puzzle until the first time he jumbled his new Cube and then tried to restore it with same colours on each side.

Appearance:
  In typical Rubik's cube ,each of the six sides are covered by nine stickers of six solid colours that are usually red,blue, orange , green, yellow and white.
Similar cubes have been produced with different colours and stickers.

Dimensions :
   Each side of the cube has the same length and width. The width and length of each side of the puzzle is 5.7 cm.The cube has 26 miniature cubes or cubies.
The size of each cubelet being 10/16 inches or 1.6 cm for most standard cubes.

Mechanism:
   A pivot mechanism is involved which enables each face to turn independently, thus mixing up the colours. For the puzzle to be solved, each face must be a solid colour.Rubik's Cube is made up of 26 smaller cubes.While it appears that all of the small faces can be moved, only the corners and edges can actually move.
Disintegrated Rubik's Cube
The center cubes are each fixed and only rotate in place.When the cube is taken apart it can be seen that the center cubes are each connected by axles to an inner core. The corners and edges are not fixed to anything. This allows them to move around the center cubes. The cube maintains its shape because the corners
and edges hold each other in place and are retained by the center cubes. Each piece has an internal tab that is retained by the center cubes and trapped by the surrounding pieces. These tabs are shaped to fit along a curved track that is created by the backs of the other pieces. The central cubes are fixed with a spring and
rivet and retain all the surrounding pieces. The spring exerts just the right pressure to hold all the pieces in place while giving enough flexibility for a smooth function.

Solution:
    Solving the cube is not easy. Some people spend weeks or months just to solve the puzzle. However, there are gifted individual who can solve the puzzle in less than10 seconds. To solve the puzzle, it is important to have ideas about the basic notations in the puzzle. Additionally, it is also beneficial to learn the simple methods and techniques that can be used for the middle layer turns such as the corner first techniques. In solving Rubik's cube special Algorithms are applied.In Rubik's cubists'
Magic Cube
parlance, a memorised sequence of moves that has a desired effect on the cube is called an algorithm. This terminology is derived from the mathematical use of
algorithm.Most algorithms are designed to transform only a small part of the cube without scrambling other parts that have already been solved, so that they can be
applied repeatedly to different parts of the cube until the whole is solved.
 Move Notation :
        Most Rubik's cube fanciers use a notation developed by David Singmaster, a retired professor of Mathematics, called "Singmaster notation."  It allows algorithms
to be written in such a way that they can be applied regardless of which side is designated the top or how the colours are organised on a particular cube.
    F (Front): the side currently facing the solver
    B (Back): the side opposite the front
    U (Up): the side above or on top of the front side
    D (Down): the side opposite the top, underneath the Cube
    L (Left): the side directly to the left of the front
    R (Right): the side directly to the right of the front
    ƒ (Front two layers): the side facing the solver and the corresponding middle layer
    b (Back two layers): the side opposite the front and the corresponding middle layer
    u (Up two layers) : the top side and the corresponding middle layer
    d (Down two layers) : the bottom layer and the corresponding middle layer
    l (Left two layers) : the side to the left of the front and the corresponding middle layer
    r (Right two layers) : the side to the right of the front and the corresponding middle layer
    x (rotate): rotate the entire Cube on R
    y (rotate): rotate the entire Cube on U
    z (rotate): rotate the entire Cube on F
 
When a prime symbol ( ′ ) follows a letter, it denotes a face turn counter-clockwise, while a letter without a prime symbol denotes a clockwise turn.

For methods using middle-layer turns there is a generally accepted "MES" extension to the notation where letters M, E, and S denote middle layer turns
    M (Middle): the layer between L and R, turn direction as L (top-down)
    E (Equator): the layer between U and D, turn direction as D (left-right)
    S (Standing): the layer between F and B, turn direction as F
LED Rubik's Cube


Optimum Moves :
       In 1982, David Singmaster and Alexander Frey hypothesised that the number of moves needed to solve the Rubik's Cubemight be in "the  twenties." In 2007, Daniel Kunkle and Gene Cooperman used computer search methods to show that any 3×3×3 Rubik's Cube configuration can be solved in 26 moves.In 2008, Tomas Rokicki lowered that number to 22 moves and in July 2010, a team of researchers including Rokicki ,proved the so-called "God's number" to be 20.This is optimal, since there exist some starting positions which require at least 20 moves to solve.


Variations:
    There are different variations of Rubik's Cubes , they include 2×2×2 Pocket/Mini Cube, the standard 3×3×3 cube, the 4×4×4 Rubik's Revenge/Mater Cube, and the 5×5×5 Professor's Cube, the 6×6×6 V-Cube 6, and 7×7×7 V-Cube 7.
Variants
In addition electronic variants of the cube have also been developed which include CESailor Tech's E-cube which is made of LEDs and switches and Rubik's Touch Cube
in which sliding a finger across its faces causes its patterns of coloured lights to rotate.
Rubik's Touch Cube
There are also other variations like Rubik's Mirror Blocks Cube .While it functions just like a regular Rubik's Cube, the Rubik's Mirror Blocks Cube has silver coloured and different sized blocks - which means it gets very distorted very fast. Instead of puzzling out simple colors, one has to fight with geometric shapes.


Interesting Facts:
▪  More than 350 million Rubik's Cubes have been sold worldwide. If all the cubes were placed on top of each other it would be enough to reach the North Pole from the South Pole.

▪  350 million happens to be the same number of Harry Potter books that J.K Rowling has sold.

▪  At the height of the Rubik's craze in the mid-1980s, it was estimated that one-fifth of the world's population had played the Cube.

▪ Rubik's Cube has featured in hundreds of books, magazines, movies and even had its own TV series on ABC in America. Millions of web pages, blogs and You Tube videos are now dedicated to cubing. 

Rubik's Cube Mosaic

▪ The Cube has inspired everything from fashion, architecture and music to films, plays and political speeches. There is also a dedicated art movement known as 'Rubikubism' where artists would make mosaics out of Rubik's Cube.
  
▪  The largest Rubik's Cube mosaic was made up of over Nine thousand cubes.

▪ 'Cubing' still infects people of all ages. 'Cubaholics' are said to suffer from 'Rubik's wrist' and 'Cubist's thumb.'

▪  Speedcubing is the term used to refer to the act of solving a Rubik’sCcube. The popularity of the puzzle led to the launch of various speedcubing competitions in the world. The first speedcubing world championship was launched in Munich, Germany on 13 March 1981 by the Guinness Book of World Records. Jury Froeschl won the competition.

▪  The biggest Cube in the world, on display in Knoxville, Tennessee, is 3 metres tall and weighs over 500kg.

▪  In May 2007, Thibaut Jacquinot of France became the first person to complete the Cube in under 10 seconds in open competition, setting a world record time of 9.86 seconds. The current world record for a single solve was set in January 2011 at the Melbourne Summer Open competition in Australia, by Feliks Zemdegs with  an incredible time of 6.65 seconds.

▪  Aside from these contests, other alternative competitions were launched. These include blindfolded solving, team blindfold solving, speedcubing using a single hand  speedcubing under the water, speedcubing using feet.

▪ The most expensive cube is of 1.5 million dollars is made out of gold, rubies and diamonds.

▪  Over the years the Rubik's Cube has featured in hundreds of advertising campaigns worldwide. It is also featured in movies like WALL.E and Pursuit of Happyness.

▪  There are also Rubik's Cube inspired songs as by the band Athlete - Rubik's Cube.

▪ The most cubes solved in 24 hours are by Milán Baticz from Hungary.He solved 4786 cubes. That's whole day doing nothing but solving Rubik's cube.


▪ There are edible cubes, jewel-encrusted Cubes,Rubik's Cube key rings and even MP3 playing cubes.
Rubik's Mirror Cube

▪ Rubik's Cube online games are also available like Light Speed , Rubik's Clock , Flat Cube, Rubik's Eclipse and Rubik's Round Up.



Magic Solution Links :
 
     http://www.chessandpoker.com/rubiks-cube-solution.html

     http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Solve-A-Rubik-s-Cube!/

     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsQIoPyfQzM

     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IW_BBp3FPMQ&feature=fvwrel

     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3msIbBZWIXg&feature=relmfu



                                    ~ Emmy
 

                                          
                              

5 comments:

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  3. Informative and well written. The fascinating arduous cube made easy :)

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