Encyclopedia > Maze

  Article Content


A maze is a puzzle in the form of a complex branching passage through which the solver must find a route. This is different from a labyrinth, which has an unambiguous through-route and is not designed to be difficult to navigate.

One type consists of a set of rooms linked by doors (so a passageway is just another room in this definition). You enter at one spot, and exit at another, or the idea may be to reach a certain spot in the maze.

Mazes have been built with walls and rooms, with hedges[?], turf[?], or crops such as corn or, indeed, maize, or with paving stones of contrasting colors or designs.

Mazes can also be drawn on paper to be followed by a pencil.

One of the short stories of Jorge Luis Borges featured a book that was a literary maze.

Various maze generation algorithms exist for building mazes, either by hand or by computer.

Solving Mazes The best-known rule for traversing mazes is known as either the left-hand rule or the right-hand rule. By keeping one hand in contact with one wall of the maze, you are guaranteed not to get lost, and will either reach the exit or return to the entrance. If the maze is simply connected, i.e. all its walls are connected together, this method will cause you to traverse the whole of the maze. If not, it will not help you to find the disjoint parts of the maze.

The mathematician Leonhard Euler was one of the first to analyse mazes mathematically, and in doing so founded the science of topology.

Mazes open to the public

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
  Featured Article
North Lindenhurst, New York

... North, 73°23'6" West (40.706966, -73.385011)1. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 4.9 km² (1.9 mi²). 4.9 ...

This page was created in 31 ms