Hanoi Tower Mathematical Puzzle

October 30, 2019 • ☕️ 1 min read

The Tower of Hanoi (also called the Tower of Brahma or Lucas’ Tower and sometimes pluralized) is a mathematical game or puzzle. It consists of three rods and a number of disks of different sizes, which can slide onto any rod. The puzzle starts with the disks in a neat stack in ascending order of size on one rod, the smallest at the top, thus making a conical shape.

The objective of the puzzle is to move the entire stack to another rod, obeying the following simple rules:

  • Only one disk can be moved at a time.
  • Each move consists of taking the upper disk from one of the stacks and placing it on top of another stack or on an empty rod.
  • No disk may be placed on top of a smaller disk.

Hanoi Tower

Animation of an iterative algorithm solving 6-disk problem

With 3 disks, the puzzle can be solved in 7 moves. The minimal number of moves required to solve a Tower of Hanoi puzzle is 2^n − 1, where n is the number of disks.