January 17, 2006
New Rubik's Cube world record

Boy does this take me back, as in all the way to my freshman year of high school: Man Solves Rubik's Cube in 11.13 Seconds.

A 20-year-old California Institute of Technology student set a new world record for solving the popular Rubik's Cube puzzle, turning the tiled brain-twister from scrambled to solved in 11.13 seconds.

Leyan Lo is part of Caltech's Rubik's Cube Club, a student group that hosted the competition at the Exploratorium museum in San Francisco. Lo's record-setting time came early Saturday, among his first five tries in the preliminary rounds.

The record-setting solve caught competitors and Lo himself by surprise.

"It's kind of scary now that I set it, because I have two more (attempts) to go," Lo said humbly afterward. His time of 11.13 seconds broke the previous record of 11.75 seconds, set by Frenchman Jean Pons at the Dutch Open competition last year.

As you can see from this 1986 profile of Erno Rubik, that represents about a 50% improvement in the past 20 years. Which is probably the last time I laid eyes on a Cube, so I'm happy to hear that the kids are still playing with them. Looks like you can still get some 25th anniversary commemorative Cube swag at the official Rubik's site, if you're looking for that special gift for the geek in your life.

The Internet, as you might imagine, has been a boon for Cube fans. You can find various computer algorithms for solving the Cube - it's believed that any scrambled Cube can be solved in a maximum of 22 twists, though the best method discovered so far takes up to 52 - or if that's too easy, try your hand at a four-dimensional Rubik's hypercube. Happy hunting. Story link via Hope, who I'm sure is now fully convinced that I'm a nerd.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 17, 2006 to Technology, science, and math | TrackBack

For sure. :)

Posted by: hope on January 17, 2006 2:27 PM

I was at the competition for a while, although not at the time the record was set.

Posted by: Alexis on January 23, 2006 11:23 AM