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## How many possible configurations of Rubik’s Cube are there?

07 March 2013

Rubik’s Cube is one of the most popular puzzle games ever in the world. It’s invented in 1974 by Ernő Rubik. He called his invention as “Magic Cube” and then cube is licensed by Ideal Toy Corp. According to latest numbers, 350 million Rubik’s cubes are sold in the world. According to many lists, it’s world’s best-selling toy ever. There are many types of Rubik’s Cube today but classic type is including six faces and nine stickers. It’s firstly invented in 2×2×2 format and then changed to 3x3x3. Today there’s an organization called as The World Cube Association and it’s making organizations all over the world. How many possible configurations of Rubik’s Cube are there?

According to scientific research on Rubik’s Cube, there are 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 possible configurations. It means when a man turned one cube every moment, he can finish all configurations in 1400 trillion years.
Rubik’s Cube is created as a teaching tool.
Main aim was teaching 3D objects to children. In first attempt, Ernő Rubik couldn’t notice that he invented a big puzzle and he only tried to find object turning freely without leaving the main object.

Rubik’s Cube entered bath production in 1977 and started to be sold in Budapest toy shops. It became popular in the Hungary in short period and company decided to sell Rubik’s Cube worldwide. In February 1980, Rubik’s Cube is started to be sold in Paris and New York.
First Rubik’s Cube versions were not including any markings in the centers so it was possible to mark the centers and then solve the Rubik’s Cube easily. But then new versions of Rubik’s Cube’s with markings are released and it made harder to solve the Rubik’s Cube. According to scientific research, when centers are marked, possible configurations are increased to 88,580,102,706,155,225,088,000.
Today there are many people and groups releasing ways to solve Rubik’s Cube with fewer than 100 moves. David Singmaster’s way is one of the most popular and it sorts on solving the puzzle layer by layer. According to Singmaster’s way, it’s possible to solve the Rubik’s Cube less than one minute.
Also “corners first” is a popular solving method of Rubik’s Cube. It was very popular in 80s and many children learned the method from underground videos applied it in exhibitions and took awards. In 2000s, researchers used a computer program to solve the Rubik’s Cube and according to their method, it’s possible to solve it in 26 moves or fewer. Then number is decreased to 22 and 20 at last. According to many researchers, 20 is the minimum number of moves to solve the Rubik’s Cube and there won’t be any less moved solutions.

There are today Speedcubing competitions for the Rubik’s Cube. Championship is helding till 1982 and world record is 22.95 seconds. Also there are many little organizations in exhibition like Blindfolded solving, Solving the Cube underwater in a single breath, solving with one hand and similar.
Record for 3×3×3 Rubik’s Cube is set in March 2013 by 5.55 seconds. Solver was Mats Valk of the Netherlands. Giovanni Contardi solved in 9.43 seconds by one hand. Group solving record is 12 minutes. Hungarian Marcell Endrey solved cube in 26.36 second in blindfold activity. Tomoaki Okayama solved with 20 moves only in 2012. A robot solved the cube in 5.270 seconds.
There are many versions of Rubik’s Cube today like 2×2×2, 3×3×3 and 4×4×4. Also a new 7×7×7 version is released. 11×11×11 is possible in test but it’s not licensed or produced now by any company. Also computer games on Rubik’s Cube are possible.

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