UnNews:Super solution for Rubik's cube
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16 August 2007
THE ULTIMATE SOLUTION to the Rubiks cube has come closer thanks to hours of number crunching on a supercomputer. The research has proved that a Rubik's cube can be returned to its original state in "less time than it takes to make a pot of coffee".
The supercomputer took 63 hours to crank out the proof which goes one better than the previous best solution of "less time than it takes to make a round of marmalade sandwiches".
The two computer scientists behind the research project believe that with more work they could push the time lower to "less time than it takes to pour a bowl of corn flakes".
It took some smart thinking by graduate student Daniel Kuntle and Gene Sooperman from Northeastern University in Boston to come up with the proof because cranking through the 43 billion billion possible Rubik's cube positions would take too long even for a supercomputer.
Instead, the scientists used a two-step technique in their calculations.
Initially, they programmed the supercomputer to arrive at one of 15,000 half-solved solutions. They knew they could fully solve any of these 15,000 cubes with a few extra moves.
The results showed that any disordered cube could be fully solved "in the time it takes to disrobe a street whore". The researchers then focused on the small number of "problem" configurations that required more time than "it took to disrobe a street whore".
Because there were so few "problem" configurations, the researchers could use the supercomputer to search for the best way to fully solve these cubes. As it turned out the supercomputer was able to fully solve all of these special cases in "less time than it take a man to masterbate from a fully 'flaccid' state".
Mr Kuntle and Mr Sooperman announced their findings soon after concluding that a piece of string is "that long".