© Julio Cortez
The Rubik's Cube started to take over Germany in 1980, but its birth lays back in Hungary in the mid 1970's. The magic cube is named after its creator Ernő Rubik, who is a Hungarian architect and inventor. Between 1971 and 1975 he worked as a professor at the Budapest College of Applied Arts in the department of interior design and during these years, the magic cube was born. Ernő Rubik invented the cube to show his classes how 3D objects move and to teach structural design problems like "How could the blocks move independently without falling apart?" Back then he didn't realize he had just created the best selling puzzle game in history. The first time he twisted the cube for a few times he began noticing, that it is even harder to twist the blocks back in order and it took him a whole month to figure out a right solution. Nowadays many algorithms are widely spread all over the world wide web, mainly YouTube. After the big hype in the 1980's the magical cube was gone for a while, but in the past years it came back to households and even classrooms. Now the focus lies not on solving the cube, but rather on speedcubing. Many competitions are held worldwide and the world record was set by the Australian Feliks Zemdegs, who was able to solve the cube in 5.66 seconds. Other challenges these days include the blind-folded solving, underwater solving, and solving the cube with the feet. Also, many variations of the original cube were created, for example the V-Cube 7 or the Pocket Cube.
At Yovisto watch Ernő Rubik, interviewed by Szabó Anima of the Time about some facts on his personal background and how he came to creating the puzzle that has been sold more than 350 million times. Also, he introduces the latest of his creations, the Rubik's 360.
- For more information about other mathematical toys and group theory:
Adventures in Group Theory: Rubik's Cube, Merlin's Machine, and Other Mathematical Toys
Published by Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008
For more inventions from Hungary:
Hungarian Inventions, Including: Ballpoint Pen, Rubik's Cube, Transformer, Turboprop, Carburetor, Match, Holography, Cross-Flow Turbine, Kalman Filter
Published by Hephaestus Books, 2011