Collin Burns in 5.253 seconds sets Rubik's Cube time record (w/ Video)

April 27, 2015 by Nancy Owano, Phys.org weblog

Collin Burns took part in a Rubik's Cube competition at a high school in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, over the weekend. The event is recognized as an official World Cube Association competition. He solved the cube in 5.253 seconds. Hold that thought in remembering the first time you had a Rubik's Cube in your hand and tried to solve it. Hold those numbers as being reported as a world record-setting feat.

The previous record was held by Mats Valk from the Netherlands at 5.55 seconds.

Chris Mills of Gizmodo said Burns was taking part in the final round at the event when he posted the time. He restored a 3x3x3 Rubik's Cube, and Mashable said that, in doing so, Burns beat the world record. Mashable received confirmation from the World Cube Association on Sunday that Burns officially broke the record in the 3x3x3 single solve category. The WCA stated, "To our best knowledge, it has been performed in an official competition, with all the rules being followed, even the scramble has been checked for its correctness." Brian Koerber in Mashable remarked: "Most people need a solid five seconds to plot their first move," leave alone solve the entire puzzle in that time.

The WCA Rubik's Cube World Championship competition takes place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, from July 17 to July 19. This has a range of challenges; one of the notes attached to the schedule reads, "competitors in 4x4x4 blindfolded and 5x5x5 blindfolded may have up to three attempts, but inside the time allotted for the event."

The Association governs competitions for all puzzles labeled "Rubik puzzles" and other puzzles played by twisting the sides, the most famous being the Rubik's Cube, invented by Rubik from Hungary.

Back in 2012, George Webster in CNN carried a review of the Cube's beginnings, when Rubik, a professor living at home with his parents, having studied both design and architecture, tried out what he hoped to be a successful teaching aid for his design students. He used wood and rubber bands to work the concept out—blocks moving independently without the whole item falling apart.

In the interview with CNN, Rubik was asked how long it took him to solve the cube once he had created the prototype. "It took more than a month of research, facing the problem, trying to understand it, building up theories, testing them, thinking to myself things like: 'I have one side and one turn is 90 degrees and if you turn it four times I'll be back where I was,' and so on. You have to find rules and then you find the law of symmetry, the law of movements."

Explore further: 10.69 seconds: Robot Ruby breaks Rubik's record (w/ video)

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