Scientists develop algorithm to solve Rubik’s cubes of any size
A computer solvinga Rubik’s cube? P’shaw. Doing it in 10.69 secs? Been there, record set. But to crack one of any size? Color us impressed. Erik Demaine of MIT claims to have done just that — he and his team developed an algorithm that applies to cubes no matter how ambitious their dimensions. Pretty early on, he realized he needed to take a different angle than he would with a standard 3 x 3 x 3 puzzle, which other scientists have tackled by borrowing computers from Google to consider all 43 quintillion possible moves — a strategy known simply as “brute force.” As you can imagine, that’s not exactly a viable solution when you’re wrestling with an 11 x 11 x 11 cube. So Demaine and his fellow researchers settled on an approach that’s actually a riff on one commonly used by Rubik’s enthusiasts, who might attempt to move a square into its desired position while leaving the rest of the cube as unchanged as possible.