Rubiks Cube Timer
- What is a Rubiks Cube?
- How to Start Cubing
- How to Solve a Rubiks Cube Face
- How to Solve a Rubiks Cube for Beginners
- Advanced Rubiks Cube Methods
- World Record History of Rubiks Cubes
- How Many Positions are There in a Rubiks Cube?
- How is the Number of Possible Positions Calculated?
- How Many Moves Are There in a Rubiks Cube?
- How Many Moves Are There in a Rubiks Cube?
- Is Every Position in a Rubiks Cube Solvable?
- Why do Cubers use Specific Scrambles Instead of Random Moves?
- How do I Train for a Cubing Competition?
- What to Expect at a Cubing Competition
- What are the Other Rubiks Cube Sizes and Variants?
- How Cubing Competitions are Scored and Timed
- How Many Moves Does it Take to Solve a Rubiks Cube at Most?
- How are Speed Cubes Built?
- How to Read Scramble Notation
- How to Adjust your Rubiks Cube
- Who Created the Rubiks Cube?
- Creating an Image with Rubiks Cubes
The top display shows a timer and a list of times and the bottom display shows a scramble. You can customize these displays by hitting the 1 and 2 buttons up top. You can hit the spacebar to start and end a timer. The time list will display your times in the current session as well as the running average of three and average of five (average of three without min and max).
You can click 'Sessions' to view all sessions, make a new session, delete sessions, and even download a csv of your session stats. You can click 'Current session' to view the current session as well.
A scramble is set of instructions to get to a random configuration of a Rubiks Cube. In tournament, instead of having a human randomly mix the cube, which may be unfair, people use official scrambles. Rather than performing random instructions, these scrambles pick a random valid cube and then solve it and reverse the steps. You can click 'Generate scramble' to generate a new one, and you can also toggle a setting to automatically generate new scrambles when you start and stop the timer. Click 'Scramble guide' for more details on what the moves are and how to scramble. There's also an interactable cube that you can play with.
What is a Rubiks Cube?
A Rubik's Cube is a three-dimensional puzzle that consists of a 3x3x3 grid of smaller cubelets (also known as cubies). Each face of the cube is a different color, and the goal is to solve the puzzle by arranging the cubelets such that each face of the cube is a single, solid color. It was invented by Ernő Rubik in 1974 and gained widespread popularity in the 1980s. The Rubik's Cube is known for being a simple puzzle that is complex to solve. It requires logic and problem-solving skills to solve, and can be extremely difficult to solve without a tutorial. Over the years, it has become an iconic puzzle known worldwide.
How to Start Cubing
To begin cubing, you'll need to first familiarize yourself with the cube's structure and understand the basic solving principles. Start by learning the notation system that represents the various moves and algorithms. There are several methods to solve the cube, with the most popular being the CFOP (Cross, F2L, OLL, PLL) method. Practice the foundational techniques like solving the first layer (cross and corners) and gradually work your way through the cube, layer by layer. Patience and perseverance are key, as solving the Rubik's Cube can be a complex and rewarding puzzle to master.
How to Solve a Rubiks Cube Face
To solve a face, pick a color as your starting point. White is commonly the first color to choose. Begin by solving the white cross in the center of that face. Once the cross is complete, work on filling in the corners surrounding the white center to make the entire white face. To do this, you'll need to manipulate the cube using specific algorithms to ensure that the white stickers on the corners align correctly.
It's important to note that there are 6 center pieces (with one color) and they are fixed, meaning their positions do not change. There are 12 edge pieces (with two colors) and 8 corner pieces (with three colors). The edge pieces are always on an edge and the corner pieces are always on a corner. In a solved cube, there is only one white-blue edge and it goes between the white center and blue center, and there is only one white-blue-orange edge and it goes between the white, blue, and orange centers. By thinking of the cube this way, it makes it much easier to understand how to solve it fundamentally.
First, locate the four white edge pieces to assemble the white cross. For each one, move it such that it is between white and its other color, while not messing up the other solved white cross edges. If you find yourself with an edge flipped (meaning the white side is away from the white center), rotate that side such that the edge is between two non white sides. For example, if the white-blue corner has the blue sticker facing white and the white sticker facing blue, rotate it such that the piece is between blue and orange or between blue and red. Now, we will rotate the top (white cross in progress) and then rotate the face such that this edge is on top, and rotate back. For example, if we moved the white-blue piece towards orange (orange is to the right of blue) we then rotate the white face counterclockwise, so when we rotate the orange face and place the white-blue edge on top, we can rotate it clockwise to put the rest of the cross back and have the white-blue piece between white and blue.
After the white cross is assembled, we will want to solve the four white corners. Find a corner (for example, white-blue-orange) and place it on the opposite side (yellow) such that if it were to "fall" down it would be in the right position (but not necessarily orientation). Once you have the piece there (for example, in the yellow-blue-orange corner), then you will want to perform the following algorithm over and over until the piece is in place at the bottom (where "up" is the yellow face) R, U, R', U'. This is "right, up, right inverse, up inverse." This algorithm can also be used later to solve other parts, and you can quickly get the hang of it after repeating it many times. If you repeat this 6 times, you end up back where you started. In our usage, orient the cube such that the yellow face is at the top and the bottom right corner of it is the piece you want to place on the white face (when solved would be the yellow-blue-orange corner, currently the white-blue-orange corner). Rotate the right side (blue in our example) clockwise, then rotate the top (yellow face) clockwise, then rotate the right side counterclockwise, then rotate the top counterclockwise. Repeat these four steps until the cube is in place at the correct position and orientation.
When you perform this algorithm on all four corners, the white face is solved. Solving one face is a satisfying step towards solving the entire cube. The next steps will be solving the edges in the "middle" (non white, non yellow), then solving the yellow cross and then finishing the yellow face. However, I suggest you get comfortable with the white face before moving on.
How to Solve a Rubiks Cube for Beginners
Here's a brief overview of the steps to solve a Rubik's Cube: First solve the first layer. Typically, the solver picks white. Then, solve the middle layer by orienting the middle edge pieces while keeping the white face intact. Lastly, solve the final layer. There are two main algorithms, OLL (Orientation of Last Layer) and PLL (Permutation of Last Layer), that are used to orient and permute the last layer pieces. After applying the OLL and PLL algorithms, you might have some last layer pieces out of place. Use additional algorithms or sequences to position them correctly. Be patience and practice memorizing algorithms. It is difficult to learn, but with enough time and practice, you can do it! This video tutorial explains it simply: https://youtu.be/VeeFwwAz7no?si=U36_6irMNm7xemsI
Advanced Rubiks Cube Methods
If you're looking to become a speedcuber, consider learning more advanced methods like CFOP (Cross, F2L, OLL, PLL) or Roux, which can significantly reduce solving times.
World Record History of Rubiks Cubes
The first official Rubik's Cube World Championship took place in 1982, and Minh Thai from the United States won with a time of 22.95 seconds. As cubers around the world honed their skills, records continued to fall. In 2003, the first sub-20 second solve was achieved, and Feliks Zemdegs from Australia set a world record of 5.66 seconds in 2013. The evolution of solving methods, such as the CFOP (Cross, F2L, OLL, PLL) method, played a crucial role in achieving faster times. In 2018, Yusheng Du from China broke the 4-second barrier with a time of 3.47 seconds. In December 2021, Max Park solved it in 3.13 seconds. The world record continues to be shattered, thanks to the dedication and innovation of speedcubers worldwide, making the Rubik's Cube one of the most thrilling and dynamic puzzle competitions in the world. There are other records for different types of cubes as well.
How Many Positions are There in a Rubiks Cube?
There are 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 (approximately 43 quintillion) possible combinations of a 3x3x3 cube. This massive number results from the cube's 54 individual stickers being rearranged in various ways, with each turn of the cube creating a new combination. This complexity is what makes the Rubik's Cube such a challenging and intriguing puzzle, and it has led to the development of various solving methods and algorithms by enthusiasts and speedcubers around the world.
How is the Number of Possible Positions Calculated?
There are 6 fixed center cubes. Since their positions do not change, they do not contribute to permutations. There are 12 edge pieces, and each can be oriented in two ways (either flipped or not flipped) and can be in one of 12 positions. There are 2^12 ways to orient the edges and 12! ways to arrange them. There are 8 corner pieces and each can be oriented in three ways (correctly, clockwise, or counterclockwise) and can be in one of 8 positions. There are 3^8 ways to orient the corners and 8! ways to arrange them. However, 12! X 8! X 2^12 x 3^8 is 519,024,039,293,878,272,000, which is the number of ways to put the cube back together. Not all of these combinations are solvable. It is impossible to have one corner twisted, one edge flipped, or two pieces swapped. We remove an edge flip (so we use 2^11 instead of 2^12), we remove a corner twist (so we use 3^7 instead of 3^8) and we divide the corner positions by 2. We can divide by 12 to account for this, and we get 3,252,003,274,489,856,000 (approximately 43 quintillion). The formula is 12! edge positions x 8!/2 corner positions x 2^11 edge flips x 3^7 corner twists. See https://youtu.be/z2-d0x_qxSM?si=Wd1W1NhLvPO8rdtS https://www.therubikzone.com/ https://www.therubikzone.com/number-of-combinations/
How Many Moves Are There in a Rubiks Cube?
There are 18 different types of moves in standard notation. There are six faces: right (R), left (L), up (U), down (D), front (F), back (B). Each one can be moved clockwise, twice, or counterclockwise, expressed as R, R2, or R' (pronounced "R prime"). There are also three slices as well, but these aren't considered standard moves. See the scramble guide in the app for more.
How Many Moves Are There in a Rubiks Cube?
A slice refers to a move that turns the middle layer without affecting the outer layers. The slice moves are middle layer (M), equatorial layer (E) and standing layer (S). These moves allow the solver to shortcut a process that would otherwise take more moves.
Is Every Position in a Rubiks Cube Solvable?
Not every position of a Rubik's Cube is solvable by legal moves if you take apart the cube and swap pieces. There are positions that are unsolvable because they violate the laws of the cube's movement. Swapping two edge pieces, having one corner twisted, or having one edge flipped while leaving the rest of the cube unchanged is impossible to solve through legal moves. However, if the cube itself is in a state that was reached from legal moves, it is solvable from any position.
Why do Cubers use Specific Scrambles Instead of Random Moves?
Specific scrambles provide consistent starting points for all competitors, ensuring fairness by presenting equally challenging configurations. Random moves could create unfairly easy or difficult positions, making standardized scrambles essential for a level playing field in competitions.
How do I Train for a Cubing Competition?
Training for a cubing competition involves a mix of practice, strategy, and mental preparation. Start by mastering key solving methods such as CFOP or Roux, honing algorithms, and improving finger dexterity. Work on speed and accuracy through regular solving sessions, gradually increasing speed while maintaining precision. Familiarize yourself with competition regulations and practice solving under time constraints to simulate the competitive environment. Mental preparation is crucial, so manage nerves and stay focused by participating in mock competitions or solving in front of others. Finally, stay consistent, stay positive, and enjoy the process!
What to Expect at a Cubing Competition
At a cubing competition, expect a structured yet friendly environment. You'll find different events with specific rules and time constraints. There will be designated areas for solving and warm-up, and judges ensuring fairness. Competitors usually get allocated solving slots, and it's essential to follow regulations strictly. You'll meet fellow cubers, some at varying skill levels, and it's a great opportunity to learn and socialize. Overall, anticipate a mix of focus, excitement, and camaraderie!
What are the Other Rubiks Cube Sizes and Variants?
Apart from the classic 3x3 Rubik's Cube, there's a range of sizes and variants in the Rubik's Cube family. These include the 2x2 (Pocket Cube), 4x4 (Rubik's Revenge), 5x5 (Professor's Cube), and even larger cubes like the 6x6 and 7x7. Variants extend beyond cubes, including the Pyraminx, Megaminx, Skewb, Square-1, and more, each with its unique solving challenges. Additionally, there are shape mods that alter the cube's appearance and solving mechanics, adding further complexity and diversity to the puzzle-solving experience.
How Cubing Competitions are Scored and Timed
In cubing competitions, the most common timing method is the WCA (World Cube Association) format. Competitors start the timer themselves and stop it when the puzzle is solved. For the average of five or three solves, the fastest and slowest times are removed, and the average of the remaining times is taken. Penalties are applied for rule violations or puzzle malfunctions. Events may have specific regulations, but accurate timing, penalties, and averaging times determine a competitor's final score and ranking in each event.
How Many Moves Does it Take to Solve a Rubiks Cube at Most?
The maximum number of moves required to solve any position on a standard 3x3 Rubik's Cube is 20. This is often referred to as "God's Number," indicating that any scrambled state on the cube can be solved in 20 moves or fewer. This discovery was achieved through extensive computer algorithms and mathematical analysis, showcasing the cube's remarkable solvability within a reasonably limited number of moves.
How are Speed Cubes Built?
Speed cubes are meticulously designed to optimize performance, speed, and smoothness in solving. They often feature a core mechanism with adjustable tensions for the cube's layers, allowing cubers to customize the feel and speed. The internal structure includes specialized mechanisms like the corner-cutting design, enabling the cube to make sharp turns without jamming. High-quality materials like specialized plastics and lubricants are used to reduce friction and enhance speed. Additionally, the stickerless or durable sticker designs aim to prevent peeling and maintain visibility during fast solves. The combination of these factors contributes to the construction of a speed cube, prioritizing agility and smooth operation for cubers aiming for quick solving times. See this video for more: https://youtu.be/SBcbiFqz3aU?si=M_6SzapiyzPYrjWW
How to Read Scramble Notation
Scramble notation uses symbols for Rubik's Cube moves: F (front), B (back), U (upper), D (down), R (right), and L (left). Clockwise turns are denoted by the letter, counterclockwise with an apostrophe ('), and 180-degree turns with a '2'. Reading these symbols guides replicating specific cube configurations for practice or competition.
How to Adjust your Rubiks Cube
Adjusting a Rubik's Cube typically involves modifying the tension of its core mechanism to achieve smoother turns. To do this, most cubes have screws on their center caps that can be adjusted using a screwdriver. Tightening these screws increases the cube's stability but might make it stiffer to turn, while loosening them enhances speed but can lead to instability. Experiment by making small adjustments to find the balance that suits your preference, ensuring the cube moves smoothly without popping pieces or feeling too loose.
Who Created the Rubiks Cube?
The Rubik's Cube was invented by Ernő Rubik, a Hungarian architect and professor of architecture. He created the cube in 1974 as a teaching tool to help his students understand three-dimensional geometry. Initially named the "Magic Cube," it gained immense popularity after being mass-produced and distributed internationally by the Ideal Toy Corporation in the 1980s, eventually becoming known as the Rubik's Cube, a global icon in the world of puzzles and games.
Creating an Image with Rubiks Cubes
Creating images with Rubik's Cubes involves arranging the cubes in specific patterns or configurations to form a larger image. This process is often called "Rubik's Cube mosaic art." To achieve this, individuals solve multiple Rubik's Cubes in predetermined patterns and positions, arranging them according to a design or template. The solved cubes' colored faces collectively create a larger picture or image when viewed from a distance. This art form requires meticulous planning, a keen eye for color placement, and often involves software to generate templates for the design. It's a unique and visually captivating way to use Rubik's Cubes as a medium for artistic expression. Check out this interesting video: https://youtu.be/vgicYVYft3s?si=hmdA5HIWMWG77Afk