Thirty-six years ago a new toy, a logic game, was invented by Erno Rubrik. All that time spent trying to get 26 cubes in the correct position seemed like a waste, until now. Discovery News reports:
An international team of researchers using computer time lent to them by Google has found every way the popular Rubik’s Cube puzzle can be solved, and showed it can always be solved in 20 moves or less.
The study is just the latest attempt by Rubik’s enthusiasts to figure out the secrets of the cube, which has proven to be altogether far more complicated that its jaunty colors might suggest.
At the crux of the quest has been a bid to determine the lowest number of moves required to get the cube from any given muddled configuration to the color-aligned solution.
“Every solver of the Cube uses an algorithm, which is a sequence of steps for solving the Cube,” said the team of mathematicians, who include Morley Davidson of Ohio’s Kent State University, Google engineer John Dethridge, German math teacher Herbert Kociemba and Tomas Rokicki, a California programmer.