The Magic of Rubik’s Cube Karen Gillispie The Magic of the Cube Ancient Greeks considered cube one of special Platonic solids Six faces; each of nine squares on every side is one of six colors Fastest selling toy in world history Amusing to children; frustrating for adults Father of the Cube Erno Rubik --1974 Birth of the Cube Rubik applied for patent--1975 Production in Budapest Tibor Laczi introduces Ideal Toys to Rubik 1984--Federal court rules Rubik’s Cube infringes on Nichol’s patent Similar Cubes of the 1970’s Terutoshi Ishige –applied for Japanese patent –same mechanism as Cube Larry Nichols –patents 2 X 2 X 2 –rejected repeatedly –cube held together with magnets The world is stumped... Mathematicians search for “God’s algorithm” Clubs, contests, races, championships Books, magazines “Cube smasher” Television fame Solving the Cube Rubik needed three months to solve cube Random twists and turns –3^8 x 2^12 x 8! x 12! conceivable arrangements –one cube solved every three centuries Sequence of steps –reduces to 80-120 twists Solutions and Related Notations Notation of each side based on orientation to you – front (F), back (B), right (R), left (L), up (U), and down (D) Notation for turns – clockwise (), counterclockwise (‘), and halfturn (“) – R --clockwise quarter turn of right face – F” --half-turn of front face – B’ --counterclockwise quarter turn of back Sequences To get this from this – you simply use F’U’F. To get this from this – you simply use FRUR’U’RUR’U’RUR’U’F’ Using similar sequences will solve the entire puzzle “We turn the Cube and it twists us.” --Rubik Sources Winning Way for Your Mathematical Plays. Volume 2: Games in Particular. Berlekamp, Elwin; Conway, John; Guy, Richard. Copyright 1982. Academic Press: New York. http://www.olefsky.com/cube Discover. The Perplexing Life of Erno Rubik. March 1986. v7. p81. Copyright Family Media Inc. 1986. http://web.idirect.com/~cubeman/cchrono.html

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# The Magic of Rubik