This’ll make a lot of us feel a lot dumber: Scientists have used Google to prove that Rubik’s Cube can be solved in 20 moves or less. So, that was about two years of my early 1980s life wasted.
The UK’s Daily Mail says that a Kent State University professor worked with a Google engineer and other researchers to show how silly the rest of us are for spending so long on that little, square toy:
Using Google’s supercomputers, a team of researchers have processed every one of the Rubik’s Cube’s 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 different configurations to work what is the maximum number of moves needed to complete it.
Scientists have long believed that 20 was the so-called ‘God number’ in theory but it has been impossible until now to find the processing power to prove it definitively.
Only 300 million configurations, a tiny fraction of the total, require 20 moves. The majority needed only between 15 and 19 moves.
Imagine what else would be different if Google had been around in the ’80s…. Back To The Future? Google would’ve made life a lot easier for Marty and Doc. And let’s not even think about what MacGyver could’ve done with Google and a smartphone. Totally righteous, man.
(photo courtesy hermanturnip via Creative Commons)