Hanayama Puzzles & Nic Picot Magic Agency , 70 Royston Park Rd, Pinner, email- nic@magicnic.co.uk, HA5 4AF , United Kingdom.

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CYCLONE in stock.- Any 4 Hanayama cast puzzles inc post £37.50 to UK paid using bacs! NB Standard post insurance is £20 - extra cover available by choice of postage. Bacs payment details - N Picot- 30-93-92 a/c 02098123 Make the order and then pay by bacs - Any questions email or call me 020 8421 2500

Soma cube

Soma cube


The Soma cube is a solid dissection puzzle invented by Piet Hein in 1933<Actinic:Variable Name = '1'/> during a lecture on quantum mechanics conducted by Werner Heisenberg. Its name is alleged to be derived from the fictitious drug soma consumed as a pastime by the establishment in Aldous Huxley's dystopic novel Brave New World.<Actinic:Variable Name = '2'/>

Seven pieces made out of unit cubes must be assembled into a 3×3×3 cube. The pieces can also be used to make a variety of other 3D shapes.

The pieces of the Soma cube consist of all possible combinations of three or four unit cubes, joined at their faces, such that at least one inside corner is formed. There is one combination of three cubes that satisfies this condition, and six combinations of four cubes that satisfy this condition, of which two are mirror images of each other (see Chirality). Thus, 3 + (6 × 4) is 27, which is exactly the number of cells in a 3×3×3 cube.

The Soma cube was analyzed in detail by John Horton Conway in the September 1958 Mathematical Games column in Scientific American, and the book Winning Ways for your Mathematical Plays also contains a detailed analysis of the Soma cube problem.

There are 240 distinct solutions of the Soma cube puzzle, excluding rotations and reflections: these are easily generated by a simple recursive backtracking search computer program similar to that used for the eight queens puzzle. Current world record for the fastest time to solve a soma cube is 2.93 seconds

Price: 6.50 / 7.48

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