Terminology and Notation

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Regarding the cube itself...

1) Cubie: The small cubes that make up the rubik cube. Note that there are only 26 cubies instead of 3X3X3=27 due to one missing cubie in the interior of the cube which actually is the rotating mechanism. The cubie is a general term for corners and edges.

2) Face: When the cube is in its initial solved state, a face is a side of the cube which shows the same color. A face is a 2-D concept, as opposed to a layer, which is 3-D. Actually a face is just one of the six sides of the cube.

3) Facelet: This is a subset of a face and is just one of the little surfaces on a cubie. A corner cubie has 3 facelets and an edge cubie has 2 facelets. But we usually don't say *corner cubie* and *edge cubie*. We just say corner and edge.

4) Layer: A standard 3X3X3 Rubik's cube has 3 layers. A layer is a 3-D concept, as opposed to a face, which is 2-D. When you turn the cube, you don't turn a face, you turn the whole layer. But sometimes for convenience saying "turning a face" and "turning a layer" is interchangeable ('face' is one alphabet shorter that 'layer'!)

5) Skeleton: When you take your cube apart (all the cubies), what you have left is the skeleton, which is the rotating mechanism.

Notation...

U: Look at the upper face and turn it clockwise.




U': Look at the upper face and turn it anticlockwise.


D: Look at the down face and turn it clockwise.




D': Look at the down face and turn it anticlockwise.




F: Look at the front face and turn it clockwise.


F': Look at the front face and turn it anticlockwise.


B: Look at the back face and turn it clockwise.


B': Look at the back face and turn it anticlockwise.


R: Look at the right face and turn it clockwise.


R': Look at the right face and turn it anticlockwise.


L: Look at the left face and turn it clockwise.


L': Look at the left face and turn it anticlockwise.


x: Look at the right face and turn the whole cube clockwise.


x': Look at the right face and turn the whole cube anticlockwise.


y: Look at the upper face and turn the whole cube clockwise.


y': Look at the upper face and turn the whole cube anticlockwise.


z: Look at the front face and turn the whole cube clockwise.


z': Look at the front face and turn the whole cube anticlockwise.


 

Important!! 

1) If lower case letters such as u, f, b, l, r, d is used, it simply means that you turn the face in the designated direction and also the adjacent slice in the similar direction.

For example, r' means that you turn the right face anticlockwise and also the middle slice in a similar direction.

This is r':


2) If a number 2 is added next to a move -- eg. U2 -- it signifies a half turn of the layer in question (180 degrees turn).

This is U2:



*An example here seeks to clarify any misconceptions:

 

This is how you do the sequence

x' R U' R' D R U R' u2 R' U R D R' U' R x' y2:



These are the common notations that I use in my tutorials. Any other notations (which I use sparingly, like slice moves) will be introduced when they pop up in my tutorials with java cubes to clarify them. For example, in this applet, you see something foreign like y2. But when you play the applet it should be clear to you what it signifies.