Monday, 20 August 2007

If God was a cuber

Following on from an earlier post, if God did play with a Rubik's Cube, He would be able to solve it in less than 26 moves. It's official. Researchers at Northeastern University in Boston have used a supercomputer to calculate that the least number of moves needed to solve any cube, no matter how mixed up, is no more than 26 (the BBC news page can be found here). Apparently, within cubing circles, the least number of moves needed to solve any Rubik's Cube is referred to as "God's number" as any omniscient being worth His (or Her) salt would be able to solve the puzzle in the minimum necessary moves. I mean, God is not going to want to waste valuable time taking unnecessary extra moves completing the cube, whilst there are tsunamis to create or earthquakes to organise.

The actual value of "God's number" is likely to be even lower than 26... theoretical work suggesting it is probably in the low 20's. Here's hoping it ends up being 23. That would do a nice job of confirming many people's belief in the mystical properties of the number 23!

1 comment:

  1. Wooo... the number 23. Have you ever noticed though that 23 is a popular number in the lotto? It seems to appear almost every week! I would also consider 23 to be my lucky number - and I was born on 23rd! Spooky.