# How does a 2x2 Rubik's Cube work?

- [Jared] Four years ago I made a video
about the inside of a Rubik's Cube.
It was one of my very first YouTube animations.
It was so much fun, that I wanna do it again,
but this time with the smaller version.
The mechanism here is a little different,
so let's check it out.
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When most people say Rubik's Cube,
they're probably talking about the 3x3 Rubik's Cube.
It's the original and still the most popular cube today.
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There are plenty of different variations.
Let me show you a few of them.
Here's the Pyramid, the Megaminx,
the Tower Cube, and the UFO.
There's also a lot of larger sizes of the cube,
a 4x4, and a 5x5,
and smaller sizes, such as the 2x2.
And, well, I thought about doing this video
on the 1x1 Rubik's Cube,
but the truth is I couldn't quite get it open,
and I've heard it's really complex on the inside.
So maybe we'll save that for another video.
For now, let's focus on the 2x2 Rubik's Cube.
This one is sometimes referred to
as the Pocket Cube or Mini Cube.
If you can't solve the regular size,
then I'm not sure you'll have much luck here.
There are still 3.6 million possible positions
the cube can be in compared to 43 quintillion.
So yes, the numbers look a little better for the 2x2,
but it's still gonna take some time to learn.
The 3x3 Cube has center pieces,
edge pieces, and corner pieces.
The 2x2 Cube only has corner pieces.
There are eight of them.
Here's what it really looks like on the inside.
The mechanism has changed over the years.
If you have an older 2x2 Cube,
then it may look different than this.
The center of the cube is a sphere
that is actually attached to one of the corner pieces.
The sphere has seven curved panels coming off of it,
four on the top and three on the bottom.
Of course, when I say top and bottom,
that can change depending on which way the cube is.
Notice these gaps in between the curved panels.
These are like the tracks that help guide the corner pieces
as they rotate.
Let's take a look at the corner pieces now.
They each have three colors on them.
The corner that's attached here is just a regular cube shape
that's embedded into the sphere.
The other seven corner pieces
have some interesting geometry.
Let's take a look at one of them.
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On the inside you'll see three places
where there's plastic extending outwards.
This is what makes contact with the center sphere.
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This makes even more sense when you look
at a few of the corner pieces put together.
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So what about the curved panels coming off the sphere?
They slide right through the corner pieces.
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Then further inside here you'll see
that there's only a handful of contact points
for the back of the curved panel.
This helps reduce the friction
so that the pieces can slide a lot easier.
Let's see how this looks
with just one of the pieces moving around.
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Remember that this corner piece is attached to the core.
Whenever it rotates, the core will rotate as well.
If the attached corner is not being rotated,
then the core doesn't move.
At this point, you might be wondering
how do I take one of these 2x2 Cubes apart?
Well, if your cube has the same mechanism
shown in this video, then it's pretty difficult
to take it apart without breaking it.
You can try to pry off one of these pieces,
but you'll probably break it and sacrifice your cube
in the process.