# 4D rubiks Cube.June 9, 2003 3:28 AM   Subscribe

4D rubiks Cube. There's a small (416k) download, but then it's probably the hardest puzzle in the world. It should keep you busy for a few hours.
posted by Spoon (18 comments total)

posted by Spoon at 3:30 AM on June 9, 2003

That has to be one of the hardest websites to read ever. It's black text on a dark grey background. It made my head hurt.
posted by mopoke at 3:38 AM on June 9, 2003

4d? does that mean it travels in time or something?
posted by joedan at 3:44 AM on June 9, 2003

3 spatial dimensions is only an artifact of our physical world - computers are, as the README clearly states "perfectly happy modeling any number of dimensions".

Heh.

Nice find, Spoon.
posted by spazzm at 4:16 AM on June 9, 2003

Black on dark grey is really quite special.
posted by influx at 4:47 AM on June 9, 2003

posted by sharksandwich at 5:24 AM on June 9, 2003

Okay... the time cube guy is clearly a nut job, but does anyone know what he's trying to say?

4D cubes. It's odd, I have no problem with the idea of 4D (although I'm interested to know how they convincingly display 4D in a 2D medium) but the idea of that number of permutaions of positions is just mind bending.

I think this is rhetorical - Drawing 2D in 2D is fine. Drawing 3D in 2D is complex (relatively) but easy to understand. Drawing 4D in 2D is impossible (effectively) in 2D. Now easy in 3D? Can you only describe 1 more dimension than you are using or is the number of extra dimentions you comprehend connected to the number you are living in?

Before someone else says it, I appriciate that we live in 4 and yet visually only recognise 3, but I'm sure a scientist will tell me about other directions that can blow my mind. Just like I confused my father when I told him 4th was time. I will never forget that argument. Dinner times in our house were fun! ;)
posted by twine42 at 6:08 AM on June 9, 2003

I'm at work and can't download the program, but is it the same as this applet?
posted by arco at 6:19 AM on June 9, 2003

twine42: Your conjecture reduces down to allowing everything to be presented in 2D. If you can draw 3D in 2D and you can 'draw' 4D in 3D, then you can draw the 3D 'drawing' of 4D in 2D, ...

The approach that I have seen used for 4D representations in <4 dimensions is best described by describing a 4D 'cube' - 1) create a 1x1x1 cube at the origin of your coordinate system 2) create another (with the same orientation) at position (5,4,3) 3) create connecting edges between corresponding vertices (top back left to top back left, ...)

If you want to get clever then you can create the second (3D) cube smaller than the first in order to give some 4th dimension perspective ;<)
posted by daveg at 6:39 AM on June 9, 2003

Also...
posted by Spoon at 7:50 AM on June 9, 2003

You know, I am a dataminer: I think in 3 and 4 (and sometimes) 5D all day long, so I thought, heh I can do this... nope, this thing is hard... I am guessing it's not just the problem itself but the UI; maybe it will get easier if you "grok" the UI...

BTW (and OT): My favorite 4/5/N-D UI is the old Lotus Improv, which you can now see in Excel as "pivot tables". Most datamining software have ripped off the Improv UI and it usually takes only a few seconds/minutes for even inexperienced users to "get" it. This thing though... BTW, legend has it that Mr Jobs (yes, Steve Jobs) had a major hand in the Improv UI as Improv was first written for the NeXT --along with that other unimportant app, the first web browser...
posted by costas at 8:28 AM on June 9, 2003

Maybe I'm just really stupid, but I can't work this thing out at all!

I understand the concept of a hypercube. I understand the projection of a hypercube onto a 2D surface. I understand the slightly tricky idea that you can only see 7 cubes because the 8th is "outside" the others. What I can't do is predict what a single move will do. No matter how much I try pressing buttons, in the end, the only way to learn the transformations is by rote. And that's hard.
posted by salmacis at 8:44 AM on June 9, 2003

Holy cow. Spoon's other link has led to what may be quite an elegant solution to a problem Miguel had in an earlier thread ...
posted by yhbc at 8:46 AM on June 9, 2003

I can solve a mix of three turns with little trouble. More than that and I get lost. I can't imagine being able to sort it out after a true mix.
posted by Nothing at 8:52 AM on June 9, 2003

yhbc, work with Miguel on the patent, I'm serious! now he can end his nightmares ;-)
posted by MzB at 10:06 AM on June 9, 2003

posted by terrymiles at 11:27 AM on June 9, 2003

yhbc, that wouldn't work. The only opening to the inner glass is a small hole into the handle. They even tell you not to put milk in it because it's almost impossible to clean.

Have you ever seen those ice holder inserts that sit inside of a pitcher of beer? Something like that with a sealed lid would work nice.
posted by klaruz at 2:32 PM on June 9, 2003

Interesting stuff about Improv, costas. I worked at Lotus and stumbled upon it and played with it for a while... it was pretty spiffy.
posted by beth at 4:46 PM on June 9, 2003

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