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MathRomp Towers of Hanoi Puzzle - Monk Ringing Gong

Congratulations!


You've solved the Towers of Hanoi


You Win!


The Towers of Hanoi Puzzle


...



How to Play

Your job is to move all of the disks, one at a time, from the center post and restack them in the same order on one of the other two posts. But you can never place a larger disk on top of a smaller disk! You can use the extra post as temporary storage for disks as you move the stack.



Game Difficulty:

You can make the game easier by reducing the number of disks. Try three disks if you are having a hard time getting the hang of the puzzle. Note: Changing the number of disks will start a NEW game!


MathRomp Towers of Hanoi Puzzle - Temple Image

In the beginning ...

When the world was first created, God ordered that a temple be built in Hanoi. There, He placed 64 stone disks on one of three poles, and ordered that priests of the temple move the disks to another pole one at a time, without ever letting a larer disk rest on a smaller disk. When the monks have finished moving all the disks, then God will cause the world to end. But we need not worry too much: even though the monks are working quickly and moving the disks at a rate of one every second, it will still take them over 600 billion years to finish their task! It will require some 18,446,744,073,709,551,615 turns to move all of the disks.

The Power of Recursion

Your job is to move all of the disks, one at a time, from the center post and restack them in the same order on one of the other two posts. But you can never place a larger disk on top of a smaller disk! You can use the extra post as temporary storage for disks as you move the stack.

The best way to solve this MathRomp.com Towers of Hanoi puzzle is to break it down into a series of smaller, repeating tasks. To move the top three disks to a new stack, move the smallest (top) disk to one empty post and the second disk to the other, then put the smallest disk back on top of the second disk; now move the third disk to the empty post, and then stack the two smaller disks on top of it (you figure out how!). You can move all seven disks by repeating this same strategy over and over, but going one disk deeper each time ... before you know it, you'll have worked your way down to the bottom disk! You can also see the computer solve the puzzle by clicking on the Show Me How button!

Have fun!

What can this Hanoi Towers puzzle do for my child?

The Towers of Hanoi is a splendid introduction to the usefulness of recursion in mathematics and computer programming. By implementing a recursive strategy for rearranging the disks, the player will quickly solve a seeming impossible problem by repeating a simple series of nested steps until the task is done!