2020 AMC 12B Problems/Problem 20


Two different cubes of the same size are to be painted, with the color of each face being chosen independently and at random to be either black or white. What is the probability that after they are painted, the cubes can be rotated to be identical in appearance?

$\textbf{(A)}\ \frac{9}{64} \qquad\textbf{(B)}\ \frac{289}{2048} \qquad\textbf{(C)}\  \frac{73}{512} \qquad\textbf{(D)}\ \frac{147}{1024} \qquad\textbf{(E)}\ \frac{589}{4096}$


Define two ways of painting to be in the same $class$ if one can be rotated to form the other.

We can count the number of ways of painting for each specific $class$.

Case 1: Black-white color distribution is 0-6 (out of 6 total faces)

Trivially $1^2 = 1$ way to paint the cubes.

Case 2: Black-white color distribution is 1-5

Trivially all $\dbinom{6}{5} = 6$ ways belong to the same $class$, so $6^2$ ways to paint the cubes.

Case 3: Black-white color distribution is 2-4

There are two $classes$ for this case: the $class$ where the two red faces are touching and the other $class$ where the two red faces are on opposite faces. There are $3$ members of the latter $class$ since there are $3$ unordered pairs of $2$ opposite faces of a cube. Thus, there are $\dbinom{6}{4} - 3 = 12$ members of the former $class$. Thus, $12^2 + 3^2$ ways to paint the cubes for this case.

Case 4: Black-white color distribution is 3-3

By simple intuition, there are also two $classes$ for this case, the $class$ where the three red faces meet at a single vertex, and the other class where the three red faces are in a "straight line" along the edges of the cube. Note that since there are $8$ vertices in a cube, there are $8$ members of the former class and $\dbinom{6}{3} - 8 = 12$ members of the latter class. Thus, $12^2 + 8^2$ ways to paint the cubes for this case.

Note that by symmetry (since we are only switching the colors), the number of ways to paint the cubes for black-white color distributions 4-2, 5-1, and 6-0 is 2-4, 1-5, and 0-6 (respectively).

Thus, our total answer is\[\frac{2(6^2 + 1^2 + 12^2 + 3^2) + 12^2 + 8^2}{2^{12}} = \frac{588}{4096} = \boxed{\textbf{(D) } \frac{147}{1024}}.\]




~Education, the Study of Everything

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See Also

2020 AMC 12B (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 19
Followed by
Problem 21
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All AMC 12 Problems and Solutions

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