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Saturday, April 30 • 1:00pm - 1:45pm
Academic Expo: Can a random Rubik's cube be solved?

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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.


http://math.stanford.edu/

Speakers
avatar for Brian Conrad

Brian Conrad

Professor Brian Conrad is a mathematician and number theorist



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

Attendees (16)