The Rubik's Cube world record is a very prestigious position to hold. Cubers all around the world have broken the world record plenty of times, going from 22.95 seconds in 1982 (first ever world record) to an astonishing 3.13 by Max Park. These feats have led to one compelling question: Will we ever witness an official sub-3-second Rubik's Cube solve?
The Evolution of Speedcubing
To understand the possibility, it's important to first consider how far we've come. The World Cube Association (WCA), founded in 2004, has documented the fastest official solves. When the WCA first started recording times, a sub-20 second solve was considered world-class. Today, anything above 6 seconds is considered slow among the top solvers.
Current World Records
As of September 2023, the world record for a single 3x3 Rubik's Cube solve stands at 3.13 seconds, achieved by Max Park. The best cubers in the world are inching closer to breaking the 3-second barrier. Patrick Ponce has gotten one sub-3 to solve under his belt, which cannot really be counted since it wasn’t official.
Factors to Consider
- Cube Technology - Modern cubes are a big contrast to the cubes of the past. They are built for speed, with specialized architecture for fast, smooth turns and minimal chance of overshooting. As technology improves, it's possible cubes might become even quicker.
- Techniques and Algorithms: Cubers have consistently developed new solving methods and refined existing ones. If new algorithms are discovered that save even a fraction of a second, they could make the difference.
- Human Ability: Like any other skill, there is a limit to how fast humans can physically manipulate a Rubik's Cube. Even if a solver knows the optimal moves, executing them in under 3 seconds may be a challenge that cannot be physically conquered by humans.
- Luck: In official competitions, solvers are given a randomly scrambled cube. Sometimes, the cube might be scrambled in a way that makes it easy to do the first step, or the moves performed by the cuber might present a lucky situation such as a PLL skip, allowing for fewer moves and thus a faster solve.
A sub-3-second solve is not just about speed but also about perfection. A minor slip, a slight lock-up, or a momentary lapse in concentration can cost valuable milliseconds.
Based on the continuous improvement in both cube technology and human expertise, a sub-3-second solve isn't entirely out of the question. However, getting a sub-3 solve would require a combination of all the optimal conditions: a highly favorable scramble, a cuber at the peak of their cubing career, and perhaps even further technological advancements in cube design.
For now, we can only wait, watch, and enjoy cubing!
Sarthak Masta is a speedcuber from Raipur. He started cubing in 2013 and now has 9 years of cubing experience. Apart from cubing, Sarthak enjoys making music and singing. He has attended a total of 7 competitions in Raipur and has gotten 10 podiums, with 2 gold medals, 4 silver medals and 4 bronze medals.