Researchers solve Rubik’s Cube in 26 moves

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Boston (MA) - Researchers at Northeastern University claim that they can solve any Rubik’s Cube puzzle in 26 moves, one move better than the previous record.  Using grid computers that calculated at 100,000,000 times a second, Computer science professor Gene Cooperman and graduate student Dan Kunkle can pinpoint the correct set of moves “in about a second”.

Ten years ago, researchers at UCLA said they solved the puzzle, no matter how complicated the configuration, in 27 moves.  This in itself was quite a feat because the six-sided colored cube has more than 43 quintillion combinations – that’s 4 followed by 19 zeros.  Not to mention that computing technology wasn’t nearly as advanced as the stuff we have today.

Cooperman and Kunkle put all the combinations into 7 terabytes worth of tables on a grid computer system run by Teragrid.org.  Those combinations were then pre-sorted through at 100,000,000 times a second.