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Towers of Hanoi

The Towers of Hanoi puzzle was published in 1883 by French mathematician Edouard Lucas, under the pen-name, N. Lucas de Siam. [history]


The "legend" which accompanied the game stated that in Benares, during the reign of the Emperor Fo Hi, there was a temple with a dome which marked the center of the world. Within the dome, priests moved golden disks between diamond needlepoints, a cubit high and as thick as the body of a bee. God placed 64 gold disks on one needle at the time of creation. It was said that when they completed their task, the universe would come to an end.

(Since it would take at least 264 -1 moves to complete the task, we're safe for now. Assuming one move per second, and no wrong moves, it would take almost 585,000,000,000 years to complete.)

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