You have finished your university year course and, as it is to be expected, you are pleasing yourself with an amazing summer. Beach, nightlife, parties…You deserve it after so much effort.

But you know what happens in September, starting the study routine again…it takes a huge sacrifice! In order to help you keep your mind active this summer and for you to start the upcoming academic year with high intellectual efficiency from the start, we recommend a game: the soma cube. Would you like to know more about it?

The soma cube: train your mind for next academic year

Until some decades ago it was believed that intelligence levels measured by the IQ test were something static, impossible to change. An immutable genetic lottery, so you would have to resign yourself to the intelligence that you brought from birth “by default”. However, since a few years ago, several studies have proved that intelligence can be improved with training.

Apparently, cerebral plasticity allows the brain to mould itself, adapt to each circumstance and learn from the daily experience in order to solve new problems in the future, in a faster and more efficient way. And a very good way of exercising our brain is through mathematical games.

If you are a University student and wish to perform better along the upcoming year course, the soma cube is the perfect geometrical riddle for you!

What is the soma cube?

If you know the Rubik cube, you already know what a 3D puzzle is. The soma cube is simply another type of puzzle in three dimensions.

The soma cube is an invention created by the Dutch writer and mathematician Piet Hein, who conceived the famous 3D puzzle during a conference given by the great physician Werner Heisenberg, who drafted the “principle of uncertainty”.

Unlike the famous Rubik invention, the soma cube is not resolved by twisting the rows until getting the colours of the cube to fit into each of its six sides, but by assembling the pieces that form the cube.

Nevertheless, the soma cube might seem similar, because it is also formed by small cubes, and these can be distinguished by different colours. However, the cubes are brought together in different greater pieces. But how do these pieces look like? We will see this as follows.

Soma Cube’s pieces

If you have ever played Tetris, the pieces that form the soma cube will turn out to be quite familiar. Only that, being three-dimensional, some of them include other extensions, additional cubes that do not appear in the popular videogame.

The soma cube puzzle is formed by 7 pieces which gather the following features:

  • 6 pieces formed by 4 cubes.
  • 1 piece formed by 3 cubes.

On the picture you can see a better image of how the pieces of the soma cube when it is split up.

From right to left, and from top to bottom, the pieces are identified with letters and geometrical names. If they sound a bit odd, don’t worry! You do not have to learn their names in order to conclude the cube correctly, although it is interesting to know how to identify each of the pieces:

  • A: Three-dimensional helicoidal tetromino oriented in helicoidal oriented in detrosgyre position (towards the right).
  • B: Three-dimensional helicoidal tetromino oriented in helicoidal oriented in levorotatory position (towards the left).
  • P: Three-dimensional tetromino in the shape of a tripod.
  • T: Flat tetromino in the shape of a T.
  • Z: Flat tetromino in the shape of a Z.
  • L: Flat tetromino in the shape of an L.
  • V: Flat tromino in the shape of a V.

Now that you know how the pieces of the soma cube look like, you might be interested on the dynamics of the game.

How to play the soma cube?

It is actually quite simple: you have to assemble the cube with the pieces, and there are 240 ways to do it correctly.

We suggest that you start trying it yourself. For a start, you might not know how to distinguish the different movements that you perform in order to assemble the pieces. However, with time, you will be able to check them out so as to not repeat the same sequences, and this way complete the 240 mathematical solutions to the soma cube or, at least, a significant percentage of these.

How many different solutions are you able to find until the start of the new academic course in September? Tell us by leaving a comment!

And at last, if you really want to do well with your University studies the upcoming year, because you feel stuck or because you know how hard it is to start off on the right foot, at the apartments for students in Madrid that we offer at Vitium Residences you will find the perfect environment so as to make the most of your studies and obtain excellent marks.

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