influence of Friedrich Froebel
designer of the Soma Cube
It is a beautiful freak of nature that the seven simplest irregular combinations of cubes can form a cube again. Variety growing out of unity returns to unity. It is the world's smallest philosophical system - Piet Hein
The Soma Cube, assembled from the seven simplest irregular combinations of cubes, was invented by Piet Hein, popularized by Martin Gardner, and commercially produced by Parker Brothers, Inc.
In the Summer of 1969 Parker Brothers Inc. produced a commercial version of the puzzle known as the Cube Soma. Previously, the puzzle had been popularized by Martin Gardner, the Mathematical Games columnist for Scientific American. The puzzle can be used to help develop skills in visualizing spatial relationships. The puzzle can also provide hours of fun and exploration! The Soma Cube's discoverer, Piet Hein a Danish poet and inventor, first envisioned the cube while attending lectures on guantum physics. He visualized the set of all irregular shapes formed no more than 4 cubes, cach of the same size. By ''irregular'' it is meant all the possible combinations of three or four cubes, except combinations into one line. The seven possible shapes are shown at the figure: Mr. Hein's insight was that this set of 7 objects could be formed into a larger cube measuring 3 units on a side. His insight was confirmed on practice.It could be also proven mathematically, that there are exactly 240 different ways to put the Soma pieces together.
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