The TetraMag puzzle is a collection of 216 powerful steel-magnet spheres, which can be arranged into many configurations. The object of the puzzle is to return to an initial position after disassembling the puzzle. Additional constraints can be imposed, such as while disassembling to not cut the puzzle into more than one pieces, but these vary depending on the objective. The most common configuration is the cube configuration, which is shown on the web page link, above.

Analysis

The puzzle's primary cyclic groups are the groups
Z/2^{m}Z=Z_{2m} and
Z/3^{n}Z=Z_{3n}, for m=n=3, therefore the puzzle group is
isomorphic^{[2]} to the Cyclic Group G of order
216=6^{3}=2^{3}*3^{3}, and hence is abelian and every subgroup is normal and cyclic.

The units of the ring Z_{216} are the numbers coprime to 216. They are the set:

(Z/216Z)^{*}=Z_{216}^{*}={1,5,7,11,13,17,19,23,25,29,31,35,37,41,43,47,49,53,55,59,61,65,67,71,
73,77,79,83,85,89,91,95,97,101,103,107,109,113,115,119,121,125,127,131,133,137,139,143,
145,149,
151,155,157,161,163,167,169,173,175,179,181,185,187,191,193,197,199,203,205,209,211,215},

which has cardinality φ(216)=72, and forms a group under multiplication modulo 216.

The order of these elements can be found with the following Maple code:

>with(numtheory);

>N:=216;

>L:=[];

>for n from 1 to N do

> if gcd(n,N)=1 then

> L:=[op(L), n];

> fi;

>od;

>L;

>G:=[];

>for k from 1 to nops(L) do

> r:=L[k];

> G:=[];

> for i from 1 to N do

> if evalb(not `in`(r^i mod N, G)) then

> G:=[op(G), r^i mod N];

> fi;

> od;

> print(G,nops(G));

>od:

Since there is no number whose order is 72, there are no primitive roots modulo 216.
Indeed, λ(216) =
18|72, where λ is the Carmichael function. This is also seen since
216=6^{3}=2^{3}*3^{3} is **not** of the form 2, 4,
p^{k}, or 2p^{k}, for odd prime p. Therefore the group
(Z/216Z)^{*} is not cyclic.

Since Z/216Z is finitely generated, it satisfies the fundamental theorem of abelian groups, as Z/216Z ~
Z_{23} ⊕ Z_{33}.

Its cyclic subgroups have order d, with d|216:

> with(numtheory):

> N:=216;

> for m from 0 to 3 do

> for n from 0 to 3 do

> print(`subgroup: Z`,2^m,`+Z`,3^n,`ord`,2^m*3^n,,`index`,N/(2^m*3^n));

> od;

> od;

The above code produces the following table of subgroups:

subgroup H | order | [G:H] | Puzzle piece |

e | 1 | 216 | Single magnetic bead |

Z_{3} |
3 | 72 | 3 beads forming a line |

Z_{9} |
9 | 24 | 9 beads forming a line |

Z_{27} |
27 | 8 | 27 beads forming a line |

Z_{2} |
2 | 108 | 2 beads forming a line |

Z_{2} ⊕ Z_{3} |
6 | 36 | 2x3 beads rectangular tile |

Z_{2} ⊕ Z_{9} |
18 | 12 | 2x9 bead rectangulars tile |

Z_{2} ⊕ Z_{27} |
54 | 4 | 2x27 beads rectangular tile |

Z_{4} |
4 | 54 | 4 beads forming a line |

Z_{4} ⊕ Z_{3} |
12 | 18 | 3x4 beads rectangular tile |

Z_{4} ⊕ Z_{9} |
36 | 6 | 4x9 beads rectangular tile |

Z_{4} ⊕ Z_{27} |
108 | 2 | 4x27 beads rectangular tile |

Z_{8} |
8 | 27 | 8 beads forming a line |

Z_{8} ⊕ Z_{3} |
24 | 9 | 8x3 beads rectangular tile |

Z_{8} ⊕ Z_{9} |
72 | 3 | 8x9 beads rectangular tile |

Z_{8} ⊕ Z_{27} |
216 | 1 | 8x27 beads rectangular tile |

Solving the Puzzle

The puzzle website contains videos which decompose the initial configuration into a
variety of shapes. Here's a sequence of transformations, which ends in a single string
of magnetic beads and recomposes itself back into a cube without disconnecting all the
beads^{[3]}:

Position n | How to get to next position: |

Z_{63}=Z_{6}⊕Z_{6}⊕Z_{6} |
Cut through half of the cube and fold the two resultants into a 3x6x12 block |

Z_{3}⊕Z_{6}⊕Z_{12} |
Cut through the 6-plane to unfold into a 3x3x24 block |

Z_{3}⊕Z_{3}⊕Z_{24} |
Cut through the 3-plane to unfold into a 3x72 tile |

Z_{3}⊕Z_{72} |
Cut through the 3-plane to unfold into a string of 216 continuous beads |

Z_{216} |
Fold single 216 string alternatively in groups of 12, to
get a 12x18 tile^{[1]} |

Z_{12}⊕Z_{18} |
Divide the 12x18 tile in half, to get a 6x36 tile |

Z_{6}⊕Z_{36} |
Fold around 6x6 tiles 6 times, to get a 6x6x6 cube |

Z_{6}⊕Z_{6}⊕Z_{6}=Z_{63} |
Starting position |

- For an alternate form of re-composition, see this YouTube video.
- As the direct product of its primary subgroups Z
_{23}and Z_{33}with GCD(2,3)=1, which are cyclic. - To cut through blocks and planes of beads, use a credit card or the cutter provided in the box.