# The Mathematics of the Rubik s Cube

Save this PDF as:

Size: px
Start display at page:

## Transcription

1 Introduction to Group Theory and Permutation Puzzles March 17, 2009 Introduction Almost everyone has tried to solve a Rubik s cube. The first attempt often ends in vain with only a jumbled mess of colored cubies (as I will call one small cube in the bigger Rubik s cube) in no coherent order. Solving the cube becomes almost trivial once a certain core set of algorithms, called macros, are learned. Using basic group theory, the reason these solutions are not incredibly difficult to find will become clear. Notation Throughout this discussion, we will use the following notation to refer to the sides of the cube: Front F Right R Down D Up U Left L Back B 1

2 The same notation will be used to refer to face rotations. For example, F means to rotate the front face 90 degrees clockwise. A counterclockwise rotation is denoted by lowercase letters (f) or by adding a (F ). A 180 degree turn is denoted by adding a superscript 2 (F 2 ), or just the move followed by a 2 (F2). To refer to an individual cubie or a face of a cubie, we use one letter for the center cubies, two letters for the edge cubies, and three letters for the corner cubies, which give the faces of the cube that the cubie is part of. The first of the three letters gives the side of the cubie we are referring to. For example, in the picture below, the red square is at FUR, yellow at RUF, blue at URF, and green at ULB: Bounds on Solving a Rubik s Cube The number of possible permutations of the squares on a Rubik s cube seems daunting. There are 8 corner pieces that can be arranged in 8! ways, each of which can be arranged in 3 orientations, giving 3 8 possibilities for each permutation of the corner pieces. There are 12 edge pieces which can be arranged in 12! ways. Each edge piece has 2 possible orientations, so each permutation of edge pieces has 2 12 arrangements. But in the Rubik s cube, only 1 of the permutations have the rotations of the corner cubies correct. 3 Only 1 of the permutations have the same edge-flipping orientation as the 2 original cube, and only 1 of these have the correct cubie-rearrangement parity, which will be discussed later. This 2 gives: (8! ! 2 12 ) (3 2 2) =

3 possible arrangements of the Rubik s cube. It is not completely known how to find the minimum distance between two arrangements of the cube. Of particular interest is the minimum number of moves from any permutation of the cube s cubies back to the initial solved state. Another important question is the worst possible jumbling of the cube, that is, the arrangement requiring the maximum number of minimum steps back to the solved state. This number is referred to as God s number, and has been shown (only as recently as August 12 this year) to be as low as The lower bound on God s number is known. Since the first twist of a face can happen 12 ways (there are 6 faces, each of which can be rotated in 2 possible directions), and the move after that can twist another face in 11 ways (since one of the 12 undoes the first move), we can find bounds on the worst possible number of moves away from the start state with the following pidgeonhole inequality (number of possible outcomes of rearranging must be greater than or equal to the number of permutations of the cube): which is solved by n n The solution mathod we will use in class won t ever go over 100 moves or so, but the fastest speedcubers use about 60. Groups Definition By definition, a group G consists of a set of objects and a binary operator, *, on those objects satisfying the following four conditions: The operation * is closed, so for any group elements h and g in G, h g is also in G. 1 Rokicki, Tom. Twenty-Two Moves Suffice. August 12,

4 The operation * is associative, so for any elements f, g, and h, (f g) h = f (g h). There is an identity element e G such that e g = g e = g. Every element in G has an inverse g 1 relative to the operation * such that g g 1 = g 1 g = e. Note that one of the requirements is not commutativity, and it will soon become clear why this is not included. Theorems About Groups Keep in mind the following basic theorems about groups: The identity element, e, is unique. If a b = e, then a = b 1 If a x = b x, then a = b The inverse of (ab) is b 1 a 1 (a 1 ) 1 = e Examples of Groups The following are some of the many examples of groups you probably use everyday: The integers form a group under addition. The identity lement is 0, and the inverse of any integer a is its negative, a. The nonzero rational numbers form a group under multiplication. The identity element is 1, and the inverse of any x is 1 x. The set of n n non-singular matrices form a group under multiplication. This is an example of a non-commutative group, or non-abelian group, as will be the Rubik group. 4

5 Cube Moves as Group Elements We can conveniently represent cube permutations as group elements. We will call the group of permutations R, for Rubik (not to be confused with the symbol for real numbers). The Binary Operator for the Rubik Group Our binary operator, *, will be a concatenation of sequences of cube moves, or rotations of a face of the cube. We will almost always omit the * symbol, and interpret f g as f g. This operation is clearly closed, since any face rotation still leaves us with a permutation of the cube, which is in R. Rotations are also associative: it does not matter how we group them, as long as the order in which operations are performed is conserved. The identity element e corresponds to not changing the cube at all. Inverses The inverse of a group element g is usually written as g 1. We saw above that if g and h are two elements of a group, then (hg) 1 = g 1 h 1. If we think of multiplying something by a group element as an operation on that thing, then the reversed order of the elements in the inverse should make sense. Think of putting on your shoes and socks: to put them on, you put on your socks first, then your shoes. But to take them off you must reverse the process. Let F be the cube move that rotates the front face clockwise. Then f, the inverse of F, moves the front face counterclockwise. Suppose there is a sequence of moves, say FR, then the inverse of FR is rf: to invert the operations they must be done in reverse order. So the inverse of an element essentially undoes it. Permutations The different move sequences of cube elements can be viewed as permutations, or rearrangements, of the cubies. Note move sequences that return 5

6 the same cube configuration are seen to be the same element of the group of permutations. So every move can be written as a permutation. For example, the move FFRR is the same as the permutation (DF UF)(DR UR)(BR FR FL)(DBR UFR DFL)(ULF URB DRF). It is easier to discuss these permutations first using numbers. An example of a permutation written in canonical cycle notation is: (1)(234) This means that 1 stays in place, and elements 2, 3, and 4 are cycled. For example, 2 goes to 3, 3 goes to 4, and 4 goes to 2. (234) (423). The steps in writing down combinations of permutations in canonical cycle notation are as follows: 1. Find the smallest item in the list, and begin a cycle with it. In this example, we start with Complete the first cycle by following the movements of the objects through the permutation. Do this until you close the cycle. For instance, in (1 2 4)(3 5) * (6 1 2)(3 4), we start with 1. 1 moves to 2 in the first permutation, and 2 moves to 6 in the second, so 1 moves to 6. Following 6 shows that it moves back to 1, so 6 and 1 form one 2-cycle. 3. If you have used up all the numbers, you are done. If not, return to step 1 to start a new cycle with the smallest unused element. Continuing in this manner gives (1 6)( ). If P consists of multiple cycles of varying length, then the order of that permutation is n, since applying P n times returns the beginning state. If P consists of multiple cycles of varying length, then the order is the least common multiple of the lengths of the cycles, since that number of cycle steps will return both chains to their starting states. Below are several examples: (1 2 3)(2 3 1) = (1 3 2) order 3 (2 3)(4 5 6)(3 4 5) = (2 4 3)(5 6) order 6 (1 2) order 2 6

7 Parity Permutations can also be described in terms of their parity. Any length n cycle of a permutation can be expressed as the product of 2-cycles. 2 To convince yourself that this is true, look at the following examples: (1 2) = (1 2) (1 2 3) = (1 2)(1 3) ( ) = (1 2)(1 3)(1 4) ( ) = (1 2)(1 3)(1 4)(1 5) The pattern continues for any length cycle. The the parity of a length n cycle is given by the number 2 cycles it is composed of. If n is even, an odd number of 2-cycles is required, and the permutation is odd, and vise versa. So odd permutations end up exchanging an odd number of cubies, and even ones an even number. Now we will prove an important fact about cube parity that will help us solve the cube later: Theorem: The cube always has even parity, or an even number of cubies exchanged from the starting position. Proof (by induction on the number of face rotations, n): Base Case: After n = 0 moves on an unsolved cube, there are no cubies exchanged, and 0 is even. Let P(n) : after n rotations, there are an even number of cubies exchanged. We assume P(n) to show P(n) P(n + 1). Any sequence of moves is composed of single face turns. As an example of the permutation created by a face turn, look at the move F = (FL FU FR FD)(FUL FUR FDR FDL) = (FL FU)(FL FR)(FL FD)(FUL FUR)(FUL FDR)(FUL FDL). Since each of the length 4 chains in this permutation can be written as 3 2-cycles for a total of 6 2-cycles, the parity of the face turn is even. This fact applies to any face turn, since all face turns, no matter which face they are applied to, are 2 for proof see Davis, Tom. Permutation Groups and Rubiks Cube. May 6,

8 essentially equivalent. After n moves the cube has an even number of cubies exchanged. Since the n + 1 move will be a face turn, there will be an even number of cubies flipped. There was already an even number exchanged, and so an even parity of cubie exchanges is preserved overall. Since any permutation of the Rubik s cube has even parity, there is no move that will exchange a single pair of cubies. This means that when two cubies are exchanged, we know there must be other cubies exchanged as well. We will get around this problem by using 3-cycles that will cycle 3 cubies, including the two that we want to exchange. When talking about the cycle structure of cube moves, the following notation will be helpful: φ corner describes the cycle structure of the corner cubies φ edge describes the cycle structure of the edge cubies There might come a time when we want to focus first on orienting all the edge pieces correctly, and don t care about the corners. In this case, we can deal only with φ corner and ignore whatever happens to the edge pieces. It is helpful to separate the two. Also note that any cycles in φ corner can never contain any cubies that are also involved in φ edge since an cubie cannot be both an edge and a corner. We never talk about φ center since the center of the cube is fixed. Subgroups Given a group R, if S R is any subset of the group, then the subroup H generated by S is the smallest subroup of R that contains all the elements of S. For instance, {F } generates a group that is a subgroup of R consisting of all possible different cube permutations you can get to by rotating the front face, {F, F 2, F 3 F 4 }. The group generated by {F, B, U, L, R, D} is the whole group R. Below are some examples of some generators of subroups of R: Any single face rotation, e.g., {F } Any two opposite face rotations, e.g., {LR} 8

9 The two moves {RF }. We define the order of an element g as the number m, such that g m = e, the identity. The order of an element is also the size of the subgroup it generates. So we can use the notion of order to describe cube move sequences in terms of how many times you have to repeat a particular move before returning to the identity. For example, the move F generates a subgroup of order 4, since rotating a face 4 times returns to the original state. The move FF generates a subroup of order 2, since repeating this move twice returns to the original state. Similarly, any sequence of moves forms a generator of a subgroup that has a certain finite order. Since the cube can only achieve a finite number of arragnements, and each move jumbles the facelets, eventually at least some arrangements will start repeating. Thus we can prove that if the cube starts at the solved state, then applying one move over and over again will eventually recyle to the solved state again after a certain number of moves. Theorem: If the cube starts at the solved state, and one move sequence P is performed successively, then eventually the cube will return to its solved state. Proof: Let P be any cube move sequence. Then at some number of times m that P is applied, it recycles to the same arrangement k, where k < m and m is the soonest an arrangement appears for the second time. So P k = P m. Thus if we show that k must be 0, we have proved that the cube cycles back to P 0, the solved state. If k = 0, then we are done, since P 0 = 1 = P m. Now we prove by contradiction that k must be 0. If k > 0: if we apply P 1 to both P k and P m we get the same thing, since both arrangements P k and P m are the same. Then P k P 1 = P m P m 1 P k 1 = P m 1. But this is contradictory, since we said that m is the first time that arrangements repeat, so therefore k must equal 0 and every move sequence eventually cycles through the initial state again first before repeating other arrangements. 9

10 Lagrange s Theorem Try repeating the move FFRR on a solved cube until you get back to the starting position. How many times did you repeat it?(hopefully 6) No matter what, that number, the size of the subgroup generated by FFRR, must be a divisor of (8! 38 12! 2 12 ) (3 2 2). Lagrange s Theorem tells us why. Before we prove Lagrange s Theorem, we define a coset and note some properties of cosets. If G is a group and H is a subgroup of G, then for an element g of G: gh = {gh : h H} is a left coset of H in G. Hg = {gh : h H} is a right coset of H in G. So for instance if H is the subgroup of R generated by F, then one right coset is shown below: Lemma: If H is a finite subgroup of a group G and H contains n elements then any right coset of H contains n elements. Proof: For any element g of G, Hg = {hg h H} defines the right coset. There is one element in the coset for every h in H, so the coset has n elements. Lemma: Two right cosets of a subgoup H in a group G are either identical or disjoint. Proof: Suppose Hx and Hy have an element in common. Then for some h 1 and h 2 : h 1 x = h 2 y Then x = h 1 1 h 2 y, and some h 3 = h 1 1 h 2 gives x = h 3 y. So every element of Hx can be written as an element of Hy: hx = hh 3 y 10

11 for every h in H. So if Hx and Hy have any element in common, then every element of Hx is in Hy, and a similar argument shows the opposite. Therefore, if they have any one element in common, they have every element in common and are identical. We now can say that the right cosets of a group partition the group, or divide it into disjoint sets, and that each of these partitions contains the same number of elements. Lagrange s Theorem: the size of any group H G must be a divisor of the size of G. So m H = G for some m 1 N +. Proof: The right cosets of H in G partition G. Suppose there are m cosets of H in G. Each one is the size of the number of elements in H, or H. G is just the sum of all the cosets: G = h 1 G + h 2 G h n G, so its size is the sum of the sizes of all the cosets. So we can write G = m H. Below is a list 3 of some group generators and their sizes, all factors of the size of R: Generators Size Factorization U U, RR U, R RRLL, UUDD, FFBB Rl, Ud, Fb RL, UD, FB FF, RR FF, RR, LL FF, BB, RR, LL, UU LLUU LLUU, RRUU LLUU, FFUU, RRUU LLUU, FFUU, RRUU, BBUU LUlu, RUru Most of the moves we use will generate relatively small subgroups. Play around with some of the smaller size subgroups above and watch the cube 3 Davis, Tom Group Theory via Rubik s Cube 11

12 cycle back to its original configuration. Cayley Graphs A useful way to gain insight into the structure of groups and subgroups is the Cayley graph. The following properties describe a Cayley graph of a group G: Each g G is a vertex. Each group generator s S is assigned a color c s. For any g G, s S, the elements corresponding to g and gs are joined by a directed edge of color c s. Drawing the Cayley graph for R would be ridiculous. If would have 43 trillion vertices! Instead, we ll look at some Cayley graphs of small subgroups of R. The following is the Cayley graph for the subgroup generated by F: The moves φ = FF and ρ = RR generate the following graph (note that φ 2 = ρ 2 = 1): 12

13 What happens when we try to draw the graph for U? Or RRBB? They will have the same Cayley graphs as those shown above, respectively. If two groups have the same Cayley graph, they have essentially the same structure, and are called isomorphic. Two isomorphic groups will have the same order and same effect on the cube. For instance, performing FFRR has the same effect as rotating the cube so that the L face is now in front and then performing RRBB. Macros We first define some properties of cube group elements, and then use these properties and what we learned above to develop some macros or combinations of cube moves that will help us accomplish specific cubie rearrangements that will enable us to solve the cube. Commutator The move sequence operations on a Rubik s cube are pretty obviously not commutative. For example, rotate the front face (F), then rotate the right face (R) to make a move FR. This is clearly not the same as rotating the right face followed by the front face, or RF. One useful tool to describe the relative commutativity of a sequence of operations is the commutator, PMP 1 M 1, denoted [P.M], where P and M are two cube moves. If P and M are commutative, then their commutator is the identity, since the terms can be rearranged so that P cancels P 1 and same with M. Let the support of an operator be all the cubies changed by it. Then two operations are commutative if either they are the same operation or if supp(p) supp(m) =, that is, if each move affects completely different sets of cubies. If the commutator is not the identity, then we can measure the relative commutativity by the number of cubies changed by applying the commutator. Looking at the intersection of the supports of the two operations gives insight into this measure. Useful pairs of moves have only a small number of cubies changed in common, and you will see macros involving commutators come up again and again. 13

14 A useful theorem about commutators that we will not prove but will make use of is the following: If supp(g) supp(h) consists of a single cubie, then [g, h] is a 3-cycle. Below are some usefull building blocks for commutators that can be used to build macros: FUDLLUUDDRU flips exactly one edge cubie on the top face rdrfdf twists one cubie on a face FF swaps a par of edges in a slice rdr cycles three corners Conjugation Let M be some macro that performs a cube operation, say a three-cycle of edge pieces. Then we say for some cube move P, PMP 1 is the conjugation of M by P. Conjugating a group element is another very useful tool that will help us describe and build useful macros. First we will introduce a couple useful definitions: An equivalence relation is any relation between elements that are: Reflexive: x x Symmetric: If x y then y x Transitive: If x y and y z then x z We will let the relation be conjugacy. So if for some g G, x y, then gxg 1 = y Here we prove that conjugacy is an equivalence relation: Reflexive: gxg 1 = x if g = 1, so x x Symmetric: If x y, then gxg 1 = y, so multiplying each side by g on the right and g 1 on the left gives x = g 1 yg Transitive: If x y and y z, then y = gxg 1 and z = hyh 1, so z = hgxg 1 h 1 = (hg)x(hg) 1, so x z 14

15 An equivalence class c(x), x G is the set of all y G : y x. We can partition G into disjoint equivalence classes, or conjugacy classes. We will not give a formal proof here, but two permutation elements of R are conjugates if they have the same cycle structure. The following example should make this more clear. In solving a cube, one straightforward approach is to solve it layer by layer. Once you get to the third layer, some of the edge pieces might be flipped the wrong way, as in the following picture: We want to flip these pieces correctly, but leave the bottom two layers intact. We can use conjugation to do so. Consider the move consisting of the commutator g = RUru. Applying g to the cube has the effect shown below: You can see that 7 cubes are affected, 2 of which are not in the top layer, but are instead in the R layer. We can fix this by performing a rotation before we use the macro that will put top layer cubies in all the positions affected by the macro, so that only top layer cubies are rearranged. Now take the conjugate of g by F to get the move FRUruf: 15

16 By first performing F and then reversing this action with f after the macro is performed, we ensure that only the top row pieces are affected. We can use our permutation notation to describe what this macro does. First look at g before conjugation. φ corner is of the form (12)(34), since it switches the top back corners and the upper right corners. φ edge is of the form (123), since it 3-cycles the edge pieces FR, UR, and UB. Then for the conjugated macro, φ corner has the form (12)(34), since it switches two pairs of corners: the top front and the top back. φ edge is of the form (123), since it leaves one edge piece in place and 3-cycles the other 3 edge pieces. So the original macro and its conjugate have the same cycle structures. The only difference between a macro and its conjugate are the actual pieces involved in the cycles. Once you find a sequence of moves that performs the operation you want, e.g., cycling 3 pieces, flipping pieces, etc., than you can apply it to the desired pieces by conjugating it with the appropriate cube move. Solving the Cube The Screwdriver Method We won t be going over this one in class, and in fact you should never need it again. It involves turning one face 45 degrees, prying out the edge piece sticking out, and disassembling the cube using a screwdriver. Not much math here so we ll move on. The Bottom up method This is one of the most intuitive, but probably one of the slowest, ways to solve the cube. It averages about 100 moves per solution. 1st Layer This first layer must be done by inspection. There is usually no set algorithm to follow. It is helpful to focus on getting a cross first with the edge pieces correctly in place, and then solving the corners one by one. 16

17 2nd Layer Now rotate the bottom (solved) layer so that its edges on the other faces are paired with the correct center pieces. Your cube should look as follows: For this layer we only have to solve the four middle layer edge pieces. If an edge piece is in the top layer, use the following macros: URurFrfR ululflfl 17

18 If an edge pieces is not in the top layer, but is not oriented correctly, use the following to put the piece in the top layer and then proceed as above: URurFrfR The second layer should now be solved. 3rd Layer We will do this layer in 3 steps: 1. Flip the edges to form a cross on the top: To flip a top layer edge correctly, use this macro: FRUrufU Repeat until all the edge pieces form a cross on the top: 18

19 2. Position the top layer edges correctly: Now position the top layer so that one of the edges is solved. If all the edges are solved, move on to the next step. If not, use the following algorithms to permute the edges correctly: RU 2 rurur RUrURU 2 r If none of these work, apply one of them until you get to a position where one of these will work, then proceed. 3. Flip the top layer corners: For each corner that does not have the correct color on the top layer, position it at UBR and perform RDrd repreatedly until it is oriented with the correct color on top. Then, without rotating the cube, position the next unsolved corner at UBR and repeat the process. The bottom two layers will appear to be a mess, but they will be correct once all the four corners are facing the correct direction. 19

20 4. Position the top layer corners correctly: Now the top layer should have all the same color faces, but the corners might not be oriented correctly. Position one corner correctly, and then determine whether the others are solved, need to be rotated clockwise, or need to rotated counterclockwise, and then apply the following (let x = rd 2 R): xu 2 xuxux You should end with a solved cube! Other Methods xuxuxu 2 x The above solution is by no means the only one. Some oter popular methods include: CFOP: Cross, First two layers, Orient last layer, Permute last layer. Invented in the 1980s by Jessica Fridrich. Petrus Method: solve a 2 by 2 by 2 block first, expand this to 2 by 2 by 3, fix the improperly oriented edges on the outside layer, and then solve the rest. 20

### Permutation Groups. Rubik s Cube

Permutation Groups and Rubik s Cube Tom Davis tomrdavis@earthlink.net May 6, 2000 Abstract In this paper we ll discuss permutations (rearrangements of objects), how to combine them, and how to construct

### Permutation Groups. Tom Davis tomrdavis@earthlink.net http://www.geometer.org/mathcircles April 2, 2003

Permutation Groups Tom Davis tomrdavis@earthlink.net http://www.geometer.org/mathcircles April 2, 2003 Abstract This paper describes permutations (rearrangements of objects): how to combine them, and how

### Group Theory via Rubik s Cube

Group Theory via Rubik s Cube Tom Davis tomrdavis@earthlink.net http://www.geometer.org ROUGH DRAFT!!! December 6, 2006 Abstract A group is a mathematical object of great importance, but the usual study

### A Mathematical Introduction to the Rubik s Cube

Sept 29th, 2015 Outline Initial Observations Some Notation Socks and Shoes The Cross First 2 Layer - F2L Last Layer Commutators Conjugation 6 faces, 12 edges, 8 corners 54 stickers Scrambling faces is

### I. GROUPS: BASIC DEFINITIONS AND EXAMPLES

I GROUPS: BASIC DEFINITIONS AND EXAMPLES Definition 1: An operation on a set G is a function : G G G Definition 2: A group is a set G which is equipped with an operation and a special element e G, called

### Chapter 7: Products and quotients

Chapter 7: Products and quotients Matthew Macauley Department of Mathematical Sciences Clemson University http://www.math.clemson.edu/~macaule/ Math 42, Spring 24 M. Macauley (Clemson) Chapter 7: Products

### Group Theory in Rubik's Cube. Pritish Kamath special thanks to Nishant Totla

Group Theory in Rubik's Cube Pritish Kamath special thanks to Nishant Totla Overview Notations Counting Rubik's cube configurations... Quick review of Group Theory. The Rubik's Cube Group. More Group Theory

### Extended Essay Mathematics: Finding the total number of legal permutations of the Rubik s Cube

Extended Essay Mathematics: Finding the total number of legal permutations of the Rubik s Cube Rafid Hoda Term: May 2010 Session number: 000504 008 Trondheim Katedralskole Word Count: 3635 Abstract In

### THE 15-PUZZLE (AND RUBIK S CUBE)

THE 15-PUZZLE (AND RUBIK S CUBE) KEITH CONRAD 1. Introduction This handout is on a fun topic: permutation puzzles. There are a couple of famous puzzles which are related to permutations and their signs.

### A Solution of Rubik s Cube

A Solution of Rubik s Cube Peter M. Garfield January 8, 2003 The basic outline of our solution is as follows. (This is adapted from the solution that I was taught over 20 years ago, and I do not claim

### 13 Solutions for Section 6

13 Solutions for Section 6 Exercise 6.2 Draw up the group table for S 3. List, giving each as a product of disjoint cycles, all the permutations in S 4. Determine the order of each element of S 4. Solution

### Comments on the Rubik s Cube Puzzle

Comments on the Rubik s Cube Puzzle Dan Frohardt February 15, 2013 Introduction The Rubik s Cube is a mechanical puzzle that became a very popular toy in the early 1980s, acquiring fad status. Unlike some

### Problem Set 1 Solutions Math 109

Problem Set 1 Solutions Math 109 Exercise 1.6 Show that a regular tetrahedron has a total of twenty-four symmetries if reflections and products of reflections are allowed. Identify a symmetry which is

### GROUPS ACTING ON A SET

GROUPS ACTING ON A SET MATH 435 SPRING 2012 NOTES FROM FEBRUARY 27TH, 2012 1. Left group actions Definition 1.1. Suppose that G is a group and S is a set. A left (group) action of G on S is a rule for

### A Mathematical Analysis of The Generalized Oval Track Puzzle

Rose- Hulman Undergraduate Mathematics Journal A Mathematical Analysis of The Generalized Oval Track Puzzle Samuel Kaufmann a Volume 12, no. 1, Spring 2011 Sponsored by Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

### Graph Theory Problems and Solutions

raph Theory Problems and Solutions Tom Davis tomrdavis@earthlink.net http://www.geometer.org/mathcircles November, 005 Problems. Prove that the sum of the degrees of the vertices of any finite graph is

### A Solver For Rubik s Cube

Bachelor Thesis A Solver For Rubik s Cube Daniel Luttinger (0415188) daniel@luttinger.eu 16 February 2009 Supervisor: DI Friedrich Neurauter Abstract In this thesis we describe the basic mathematics of

### Elementary Number Theory We begin with a bit of elementary number theory, which is concerned

CONSTRUCTION OF THE FINITE FIELDS Z p S. R. DOTY Elementary Number Theory We begin with a bit of elementary number theory, which is concerned solely with questions about the set of integers Z = {0, ±1,

### CLASSIFYING FINITE SUBGROUPS OF SO 3

CLASSIFYING FINITE SUBGROUPS OF SO 3 HANNAH MARK Abstract. The goal of this paper is to prove that all finite subgroups of SO 3 are isomorphic to either a cyclic group, a dihedral group, or the rotational

### Group Theory and the Rubik s Cube. Janet Chen

Group Theory and the Rubik s Cube Janet Chen A Note to the Reader These notes are based on a 2-week course that I taught for high school students at the Texas State Honors Summer Math Camp. All of the

### Solving the Rubik s Cube with Eight Algorithms. By Ben Martin

Solving the Rubik s Cube with Eight Algorithms By Ben Martin Introduction This is a step by step guide on solving the classic Rubik s Cube, invented by Enrno Rubik. Although it may look almost impossible

### Algebra of the 2x2x2 Rubik s Cube

Algebra of the 2x2x2 Rubik s Cube Under the direction of Dr. John S. Caughman William Brad Benjamin. Introduction As children, many of us spent countless hours playing with Rubiks Cube. At the time it

### Pigeonhole Principle Solutions

Pigeonhole Principle Solutions 1. Show that if we take n + 1 numbers from the set {1, 2,..., 2n}, then some pair of numbers will have no factors in common. Solution: Note that consecutive numbers (such

### MODULAR ARITHMETIC. a smallest member. It is equivalent to the Principle of Mathematical Induction.

MODULAR ARITHMETIC 1 Working With Integers The usual arithmetic operations of addition, subtraction and multiplication can be performed on integers, and the result is always another integer Division, on

### Midterm Practice Problems

6.042/8.062J Mathematics for Computer Science October 2, 200 Tom Leighton, Marten van Dijk, and Brooke Cowan Midterm Practice Problems Problem. [0 points] In problem set you showed that the nand operator

### ORDERS OF ELEMENTS IN A GROUP

ORDERS OF ELEMENTS IN A GROUP KEITH CONRAD 1. Introduction Let G be a group and g G. We say g has finite order if g n = e for some positive integer n. For example, 1 and i have finite order in C, since

### Elements of Abstract Group Theory

Chapter 2 Elements of Abstract Group Theory Mathematics is a game played according to certain simple rules with meaningless marks on paper. David Hilbert The importance of symmetry in physics, and for

### Solving the Rubik's Revenge (4x4x4) Home Pre-Solution Stuff Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Solution Moves Lists

Solving your Rubik's Revenge (4x4x4) 07/16/2007 12:59 AM Solving the Rubik's Revenge (4x4x4) Home Pre-Solution Stuff Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Solution Moves Lists Turn this... Into THIS! To solve the Rubik's

### DIRECTIONS FOR SOLVING THE 5x5x5 (Professor) CUBE

DIRECTIONS FOR SOLVING THE 5x5x5 (Professor) CUBE These instructions can be used to solve a 5x5x5 cube, also known as the professor cube due to its difficulty. These directions are a graphical version

### MAT2400 Analysis I. A brief introduction to proofs, sets, and functions

MAT2400 Analysis I A brief introduction to proofs, sets, and functions In Analysis I there is a lot of manipulations with sets and functions. It is probably also the first course where you have to take

### Rubik's Cube Solution

Rubik's Cube Solution When solved, every face of Rubik's Cube is a solid color. Once you start turning, twisting and flipping, it's easy to mix up the colors. Not to worry - Rubik's Cube can be set right

### Lemma 5.2. Let S be a set. (1) Let f and g be two permutations of S. Then the composition of f and g is a permutation of S.

Definition 51 Let S be a set bijection f : S S 5 Permutation groups A permutation of S is simply a Lemma 52 Let S be a set (1) Let f and g be two permutations of S Then the composition of f and g is a

### S on n elements. A good way to think about permutations is the following. Consider the A = 1,2,3, 4 whose elements we permute with the P =

Section 6. 1 Section 6. Groups of Permutations: : The Symmetric Group Purpose of Section: To introduce the idea of a permutation and show how the set of all permutations of a set of n elements, equipped

### CHAPTER 3 Numbers and Numeral Systems

CHAPTER 3 Numbers and Numeral Systems Numbers play an important role in almost all areas of mathematics, not least in calculus. Virtually all calculus books contain a thorough description of the natural,

### COLORED GRAPHS AND THEIR PROPERTIES

COLORED GRAPHS AND THEIR PROPERTIES BEN STEVENS 1. Introduction This paper is concerned with the upper bound on the chromatic number for graphs of maximum vertex degree under three different sets of coloring

### 3. Equivalence Relations. Discussion

3. EQUIVALENCE RELATIONS 33 3. Equivalence Relations 3.1. Definition of an Equivalence Relations. Definition 3.1.1. A relation R on a set A is an equivalence relation if and only if R is reflexive, symmetric,

### 10. Graph Matrices Incidence Matrix

10 Graph Matrices Since a graph is completely determined by specifying either its adjacency structure or its incidence structure, these specifications provide far more efficient ways of representing a

### AN ANALYSIS OF THE 15-PUZZLE

AN ANALYSIS OF THE 15-PUZZLE ANDREW CHAPPLE, ALFONSO CROEZE, MHEL LAZO, AND HUNTER MERRILL Abstract. The 15-puzzle has been an object of great mathematical interest since its invention in the 1860s. The

### Group Theory (MA343): Lecture Notes Semester I Dr Rachel Quinlan School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics, NUI Galway

Group Theory (MA343): Lecture Notes Semester I 2013-2014 Dr Rachel Quinlan School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics, NUI Galway November 21, 2013 Contents 1 What is a group? 2 1.1 Examples...........................................

### = 2 + 1 2 2 = 3 4, Now assume that P (k) is true for some fixed k 2. This means that

Instructions. Answer each of the questions on your own paper, and be sure to show your work so that partial credit can be adequately assessed. Credit will not be given for answers (even correct ones) without

GENERATING SETS KEITH CONRAD 1 Introduction In R n, every vector can be written as a unique linear combination of the standard basis e 1,, e n A notion weaker than a basis is a spanning set: a set of vectors

### Mathematical Induction

Mathematical Induction (Handout March 8, 01) The Principle of Mathematical Induction provides a means to prove infinitely many statements all at once The principle is logical rather than strictly mathematical,

### Spring 2007 Math 510 Hints for practice problems

Spring 2007 Math 510 Hints for practice problems Section 1 Imagine a prison consisting of 4 cells arranged like the squares of an -chessboard There are doors between all adjacent cells A prisoner in one

### Homework until Test #2

MATH31: Number Theory Homework until Test # Philipp BRAUN Section 3.1 page 43, 1. It has been conjectured that there are infinitely many primes of the form n. Exhibit five such primes. Solution. Five such

### MATH10212 Linear Algebra. Systems of Linear Equations. Definition. An n-dimensional vector is a row or a column of n numbers (or letters): a 1.

MATH10212 Linear Algebra Textbook: D. Poole, Linear Algebra: A Modern Introduction. Thompson, 2006. ISBN 0-534-40596-7. Systems of Linear Equations Definition. An n-dimensional vector is a row or a column

### So let us begin our quest to find the holy grail of real analysis.

1 Section 5.2 The Complete Ordered Field: Purpose of Section We present an axiomatic description of the real numbers as a complete ordered field. The axioms which describe the arithmetic of the real numbers

### Beginner Solution to the Rubik's Cube

Beginner Solution to the Rubik's Cube Home Rubik's 25th Anniversary RWC2003 Rubiks links Italian translation of this solution introduction structure of the cube cube notation solution first layer cross

### Writing Algorithms / Intro to Speed Solving

Writing Algorithms / Intro to Speed Solving Common Core: Solve word problems leading to equations of the form px + q= r and p(x + q) = r, where p, q, and r are specific rational numbers. Solve equations

### Relations Graphical View

Relations Slides by Christopher M. Bourke Instructor: Berthe Y. Choueiry Introduction Recall that a relation between elements of two sets is a subset of their Cartesian product (of ordered pairs). A binary

### ENUMERATION BY ALGEBRAIC COMBINATORICS. 1. Introduction

ENUMERATION BY ALGEBRAIC COMBINATORICS CAROLYN ATWOOD Abstract. Pólya s theorem can be used to enumerate objects under permutation groups. Using group theory, combinatorics, and many examples, Burnside

### An Interesting Way to Combine Numbers

An Interesting Way to Combine Numbers Joshua Zucker and Tom Davis November 28, 2007 Abstract This exercise can be used for middle school students and older. The original problem seems almost impossibly

### Arkansas Tech University MATH 4033: Elementary Modern Algebra Dr. Marcel B. Finan

Arkansas Tech University MATH 4033: Elementary Modern Algebra Dr. Marcel B. Finan 3 Binary Operations We are used to addition and multiplication of real numbers. These operations combine two real numbers

### Math 016. Materials With Exercises

Math 06 Materials With Exercises June 00, nd version TABLE OF CONTENTS Lesson Natural numbers; Operations on natural numbers: Multiplication by powers of 0; Opposite operations; Commutative Property of

### Combinatorial Concepts With Sudoku I: Symmetry

ombinatorial oncepts With Sudoku I: Symmetry Gordon Royle March 29, 2006 (Version 0.2) bstract The immensely popular logic game Sudoku incorporates a significant number of combinatorial concepts. In this

### Binary Operations. Discussion. Power Set Operation. Binary Operation Properties. Whole Number Subsets. Let be a binary operation defined on the set A.

Binary Operations Let S be any given set. A binary operation on S is a correspondence that associates with each ordered pair (a, b) of elements of S a uniquely determined element a b = c where c S Discussion

### 4. FIRST STEPS IN THE THEORY 4.1. A

4. FIRST STEPS IN THE THEORY 4.1. A Catalogue of All Groups: The Impossible Dream The fundamental problem of group theory is to systematically explore the landscape and to chart what lies out there. We

### Induction Problems. Tom Davis November 7, 2005

Induction Problems Tom Davis tomrdavis@earthlin.net http://www.geometer.org/mathcircles November 7, 2005 All of the following problems should be proved by mathematical induction. The problems are not necessarily

### Problem Set. Problem Set #2. Math 5322, Fall December 3, 2001 ANSWERS

Problem Set Problem Set #2 Math 5322, Fall 2001 December 3, 2001 ANSWERS i Problem 1. [Problem 18, page 32] Let A P(X) be an algebra, A σ the collection of countable unions of sets in A, and A σδ the collection

### The Mathematics of Origami

The Mathematics of Origami Sheri Yin June 3, 2009 1 Contents 1 Introduction 3 2 Some Basics in Abstract Algebra 4 2.1 Groups................................. 4 2.2 Ring..................................

### Prime Numbers. Chapter Primes and Composites

Chapter 2 Prime Numbers The term factoring or factorization refers to the process of expressing an integer as the product of two or more integers in a nontrivial way, e.g., 42 = 6 7. Prime numbers are

### Induction. Margaret M. Fleck. 10 October These notes cover mathematical induction and recursive definition

Induction Margaret M. Fleck 10 October 011 These notes cover mathematical induction and recursive definition 1 Introduction to induction At the start of the term, we saw the following formula for computing

### THE SIGN OF A PERMUTATION

THE SIGN OF A PERMUTATION KEITH CONRAD 1. Introduction Throughout this discussion, n 2. Any cycle in S n is a product of transpositions: the identity (1) is (12)(12), and a k-cycle with k 2 can be written

### 5. GRAPHS ON SURFACES

. GRPHS ON SURCS.. Graphs graph, by itself, is a combinatorial object rather than a topological one. But when we relate a graph to a surface through the process of embedding we move into the realm of topology.

3. QUADRATIC CONGRUENCES 3.1. Quadratics Over a Finite Field We re all familiar with the quadratic equation in the context of real or complex numbers. The formula for the solutions to ax + bx + c = 0 (where

### THE 0/1-BORSUK CONJECTURE IS GENERICALLY TRUE FOR EACH FIXED DIAMETER

THE 0/1-BORSUK CONJECTURE IS GENERICALLY TRUE FOR EACH FIXED DIAMETER JONATHAN P. MCCAMMOND AND GÜNTER ZIEGLER Abstract. In 1933 Karol Borsuk asked whether every compact subset of R d can be decomposed

### Theorem 5. The composition of any two symmetries in a point is a translation. More precisely, S B S A = T 2

Isometries. Congruence mappings as isometries. The notion of isometry is a general notion commonly accepted in mathematics. It means a mapping which preserves distances. The word metric is a synonym to

### Discrete Mathematics and Probability Theory Fall 2009 Satish Rao,David Tse Note 11

CS 70 Discrete Mathematics and Probability Theory Fall 2009 Satish Rao,David Tse Note Conditional Probability A pharmaceutical company is marketing a new test for a certain medical condition. According

### GROUP ACTIONS ON SETS WITH APPLICATIONS TO FINITE GROUPS

GROUP ACTIONS ON SETS WITH APPLICATIONS TO FINITE GROUPS NOTES OF LECTURES GIVEN AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MYSORE ON 29 JULY, 01 AUG, 02 AUG, 2012 K. N. RAGHAVAN Abstract. The notion of the action of a group

### CONTENTS 1. Peter Kahn. Spring 2007

CONTENTS 1 MATH 304: CONSTRUCTING THE REAL NUMBERS Peter Kahn Spring 2007 Contents 2 The Integers 1 2.1 The basic construction.......................... 1 2.2 Adding integers..............................

### 8 Primes and Modular Arithmetic

8 Primes and Modular Arithmetic 8.1 Primes and Factors Over two millennia ago already, people all over the world were considering the properties of numbers. One of the simplest concepts is prime numbers.

### (Refer Slide Time: 1:41)

Discrete Mathematical Structures Dr. Kamala Krithivasan Department of Computer Science and Engineering Indian Institute of Technology, Madras Lecture # 10 Sets Today we shall learn about sets. You must

### Discrete Mathematics and Probability Theory Fall 2009 Satish Rao, David Tse Note 2

CS 70 Discrete Mathematics and Probability Theory Fall 2009 Satish Rao, David Tse Note 2 Proofs Intuitively, the concept of proof should already be familiar We all like to assert things, and few of us

### THE ULTIMATE BRAIN TEASER 7-STEP SOLUTION GUIDE. For 1 Player AGES 8 + CUBE CUBE. Contents: Rubik s Cube Plastic Stand

For 1 Player AGES 8 + CUBE THE ULTIMATE BRAIN TEASER CUBE Twist it & turn it to line up the same colors on all sides. Once you solve it, challenge yourself to beat your best time! Contents: Rubik s Cube

### MATRIX ALGEBRA AND SYSTEMS OF EQUATIONS

MATRIX ALGEBRA AND SYSTEMS OF EQUATIONS Systems of Equations and Matrices Representation of a linear system The general system of m equations in n unknowns can be written a x + a 2 x 2 + + a n x n b a

### Sets, Relations and Functions

Sets, Relations and Functions Eric Pacuit Department of Philosophy University of Maryland, College Park pacuit.org epacuit@umd.edu ugust 26, 2014 These notes provide a very brief background in discrete

### INTRODUCTION TO PROOFS: HOMEWORK SOLUTIONS

INTRODUCTION TO PROOFS: HOMEWORK SOLUTIONS STEVEN HEILMAN Contents 1. Homework 1 1 2. Homework 2 6 3. Homework 3 10 4. Homework 4 16 5. Homework 5 19 6. Homework 6 21 7. Homework 7 25 8. Homework 8 28

### CHAPTER 5: MODULAR ARITHMETIC

CHAPTER 5: MODULAR ARITHMETIC LECTURE NOTES FOR MATH 378 (CSUSM, SPRING 2009). WAYNE AITKEN 1. Introduction In this chapter we will consider congruence modulo m, and explore the associated arithmetic called

### RUBIK'S CUBE BY: MOSES TROYER & NATE VARDELL ALGORITHMS & PARALLELIZATION

RUBIK'S CUBE ALGORITHMS & PARALLELIZATION BY: MOSES TROYER 1 & NATE VARDELL WHAT IN THE WORLD IS A RUBIK S CUBE??? Originally, a 3x3x3 Cube Shaped Puzzle. There are now 2x2x2 all the way up to 10x10x10.

### 26 Integers: Multiplication, Division, and Order

26 Integers: Multiplication, Division, and Order Integer multiplication and division are extensions of whole number multiplication and division. In multiplying and dividing integers, the one new issue

### 1 Symmetries of regular polyhedra

1230, notes 5 1 Symmetries of regular polyhedra Symmetry groups Recall: Group axioms: Suppose that (G, ) is a group and a, b, c are elements of G. Then (i) a b G (ii) (a b) c = a (b c) (iii) There is an

### Geometric Transformations

Geometric Transformations Definitions Def: f is a mapping (function) of a set A into a set B if for every element a of A there exists a unique element b of B that is paired with a; this pairing is denoted

### GROUPS SUBGROUPS. Definition 1: An operation on a set G is a function : G G G.

Definition 1: GROUPS An operation on a set G is a function : G G G. Definition 2: A group is a set G which is equipped with an operation and a special element e G, called the identity, such that (i) the

### Notes on Matrix Multiplication and the Transitive Closure

ICS 6D Due: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 Instructor: Sandy Irani Notes on Matrix Multiplication and the Transitive Closure An n m matrix over a set S is an array of elements from S with n rows and m columns.

### Solutions to Assignment 4

Solutions to Assignment 4 Math 412, Winter 2003 3.1.18 Define a new addition and multiplication on Z y a a + 1 and a a + a, where the operations on the right-hand side off the equal signs are ordinary

### [[SOlVE THE CUBE]] This is the second of four installments: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and the full Fridrich Method.

[[SOlVE THE CUBE]] Intermediate Method by Tim Pow Welcome to the Intermediate Method, a method specifically designed to follow the Beginner Method I wrote. This solution is proven to be a lot faster than

### Group Fundamentals. Chapter 1. 1.1 Groups and Subgroups. 1.1.1 Definition

Chapter 1 Group Fundamentals 1.1 Groups and Subgroups 1.1.1 Definition A group is a nonempty set G on which there is defined a binary operation (a, b) ab satisfying the following properties. Closure: If

### It is time to prove some theorems. There are various strategies for doing

CHAPTER 4 Direct Proof It is time to prove some theorems. There are various strategies for doing this; we now examine the most straightforward approach, a technique called direct proof. As we begin, it

### Modeled Solution of a Rubik s Cube and Implementation of Techniques to Simulate Human Solutions

Proc. of Int. Conf. on Advances in Computer Science, AETACS Modeled Solution of a Rubik s Cube and Implementation of Techniques to Simulate Human Solutions Sumedh Ghaisas and Harman Singh III rd Year Undergraduates,

### x a x 2 (1 + x 2 ) n.

Limits and continuity Suppose that we have a function f : R R. Let a R. We say that f(x) tends to the limit l as x tends to a; lim f(x) = l ; x a if, given any real number ɛ > 0, there exists a real number

### 6.2 Permutations continued

6.2 Permutations continued Theorem A permutation on a finite set A is either a cycle or can be expressed as a product (composition of disjoint cycles. Proof is by (strong induction on the number, r, of

### The determinant of a skew-symmetric matrix is a square. This can be seen in small cases by direct calculation: 0 a. 12 a. a 13 a 24 a 14 a 23 a 14

4 Symplectic groups In this and the next two sections, we begin the study of the groups preserving reflexive sesquilinear forms or quadratic forms. We begin with the symplectic groups, associated with

### Test1. Due Friday, March 13, 2015.

1 Abstract Algebra Professor M. Zuker Test1. Due Friday, March 13, 2015. 1. Euclidean algorithm and related. (a) Suppose that a and b are two positive integers and that gcd(a, b) = d. Find all solutions

### PROBLEM SET 7: PIGEON HOLE PRINCIPLE

PROBLEM SET 7: PIGEON HOLE PRINCIPLE The pigeonhole principle is the following observation: Theorem. Suppose that > kn marbles are distributed over n jars, then one jar will contain at least k + marbles.

### 2.3 Scheduling jobs on identical parallel machines

2.3 Scheduling jobs on identical parallel machines There are jobs to be processed, and there are identical machines (running in parallel) to which each job may be assigned Each job = 1,,, must be processed

### Properties of Real Numbers

16 Chapter P Prerequisites P.2 Properties of Real Numbers What you should learn: Identify and use the basic properties of real numbers Develop and use additional properties of real numbers Why you should

### CS 103X: Discrete Structures Homework Assignment 3 Solutions

CS 103X: Discrete Structures Homework Assignment 3 s Exercise 1 (20 points). On well-ordering and induction: (a) Prove the induction principle from the well-ordering principle. (b) Prove the well-ordering