Admit Weekend 2011 has ended
Back To Schedule
Saturday, April 30 • 1:00pm - 1:45pm
Academic Expo: Can a random Rubik's cube be solved?

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

If the pieces of a Rubik's cube are pried apart with a screwdriver and reassembled in random positions, can the puzzle be solved? It turns out that the answer is no: the proportion of random arrangements of the puzzle pieces that can reach the "solved" position via legal moves is 1/12. In the course of explaining this curious fact, we will see how to use elementary ideas from group theory to analyze this famous puzzle as well as its 19th-century analogue, the 15-puzzle. Previous knowledge of group theory will not be assumed.


avatar for Brian Conrad

Brian Conrad

Professor Brian Conrad is a mathematician and number theorist

Saturday April 30, 2011 1:00pm - 1:45pm PDT
Building 380 Room 380C 450 SERRA MALL, STANFORD CA 94305

Attendees (0)