Rubik’s Cubes


via Flickr

A 3 x 3 Rubik’s Cube

The Rubik’s Cube was invented by Ernő Rubik in 1974. It was originally called the Magic Cube, but it changed to Rubik’s cube in honor of its inventor. The classic Rubik’s cube has nine stickers on each of the six sides, in the colors of white, yellow, red, orange, green, and blue. The pieces intersect, creating a mechanism that can move pieces around but stay the same shape. There are some variations that can change from their original shape.

The Rubik’s cube is a fairly challenging puzzle. Because of the way it works, attempting to swap two pieces’ places can be very difficult. It has six center pieces, eight corner pieces, and twelve edge pieces. 

Since its invention, there have been many variations of the Rubik’s cube, each one a little different. The Megaminx, Skewb, Square-1, Pyraminx, and Clock variations are all notable. Each one uses unique ways of turning. The megamix has 12 pentagon sides, the skewb turns on its corners, the square one is described below, the pyraminx is a triangular pyramid shape, and the clock is a whole other thing. Each one is different, with many variations. 

Now to speedcubing. The world record for solving a 3×3 cube is 3.47 seconds, by Yusheng Du. Maciej Czapiewski holds the world record for the 2×2 with a time of 0.49 seconds. The record for the 4×4 is 16.86 seconds, held by Max Park. The world record for solving a Square-1  is 4.59 seconds, by Martin Vædele Egdal. Most of these cubes are self-describing, 3×3, 2×2, and 4×4 cubes. However, the Square-1 cube isn’t. Its white and yellow sides have diamond and triangle shapes, while the others have cube and rectangle shapes. There are also different brands of cubes, but some of the best are Gan, Meilong, and Yuxin. 

There are also certain elements that help speedcubing. Magnets help the cube snap to place and can reduce the usefulness of the ability to corner cut. Smooth turns are essential for setting records. If the cube gets caught on itself, then it can waste time. Both of these factors contribute to good speedcubing.

There are a few ways to solve a 3×3 cube. There is the beginner method, where you make the white cross, then put in the corners, then do the second layer, then the top cross, and finally the top corners. The second method is the Fridrich method. Both of these methods can be used to solve any of the 43 quintillion scrambles. That’s 43,252,003,274,489,856,000, to be exact. Of the many kinds of cube sizes, number of scramble possibilities, brands, and variations, there are so many things to talk about when it comes to Rubik’s cubes.