Researchers: Rubik's Cube solvable in 20 moves or less

No matter how difficult the puzzle may seem, researchers have found that any Rubik Cube can be solved in 20 moves or less.

Any Rubik's Cube configuration can be solved in 20 moves or fewer, according to new research.

The recent puzzle-based findings come from a small group of researchers, including a university mathematician and a Google engineer. Collectively they found that every single one of a Rubik's Cube's massive 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 combinations can be solved in just 20 moves or less.

This staggeringly small number of moves, known as God's Number, was found to be accurate thanks to the help of 35 years worth of computing time--time which was spent number crunching.

According to the research, the intensive number crunching, which was completed by Google's own computers, broke the problem down into smaller problems. As the researchers put it on their site, "We broke the problem down into 2,217,093,120 smaller problems, each comprising 19,508,428,800 different positions. Each of these subproblems was small enough to fit in the memory of a modern PC, and the way we broke it down allowed us to solve each set rapidly."

The researcher's site has more information on how they reached God's Number. But for those who never did manage to solve the Rubik's Cube, myself included, the Internet has plenty of guides designed to stop you from resorting to sticker-swapping.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags gadgetsconsumer electronicsGoogle

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Brandrick

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?