Rubik's Cube

3D render of a scrambled Rubik's Cube

"Space always intrigued me, with its incredibly rich possibilities ... I think the CUBE arose from this interest, from this search for expression and for this always more increased acuteness of these thoughts"
― Ernö Rubik, inventor of the Rubik's Cube

The Rubik's Cube is a three-dimensional mechanical puzzle. It takes the form of a cube with coloured stickers on each side. Each side of the cube is divided both ways to give a 3x3 grid, and each side can be rotated freely on an axis through the cube's centre. The aim of the puzzle is to rotate the sides of a "scrambled" cube, where the coloured stickers are positioned arbitrarily, to form a "solved" cube, where each side has nine stickers of one colour on it.

On a standard cube, the colours are red, orange, yellow, white, green and blue. Red is always on the opposite side to orange, yellow to white, and green to blue. Unofficial cubes generally replace at least one colour to evade trademark issues, and some colours are typically opposite the "wrong" ones.

Solving the cubeEdit

Falling apart

A partially disassembled Cube, exposing the mechanism

There are four basic ways to "solve" a Rubik's Cube. The first is to just turn the sides at random in the hopes of solving it. Needless to say, this is extremely inefficient. The second relies on the use of an algorithm, of which several have been devised.

The third method is to remove the stickers and replace them, and the fourth is to disassemble the cube and reassemble it in the solved state. Obviously, these two methods are generally considered cheating, and do not actually count as solving the puzzle. Repeated sticker removal eventually causes the stickers to peel off of their own accord (as they become less adhesive), and disassembly carries the risk of damaging the cube if not done properly.

Go to the techniques page →

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