This week's featured article

A glider (or featherweight spaceship) is the smallest, most common, and firstdiscovered spaceship. Its name is due in part to the fact that it is glide symmetric. It travels diagonally across the Life grid at a speed of c/4 and is often produced by randomlygenerated starting patterns. Gliders are important because they are easily produced (see Gosper glider gun), can be collided with each other to form more complicated objects (see glider synthesis), and can be used to transmit information over long distances.
The glider was found by Richard K. Guy in 1970 while Conway's group was attempting to track the evolution of the Rpentomino. It is often stated that John Conway himself discovered the glider, but he has said that it was Guy.

Pattern collection

The LifeWiki contains one of the most comprehensive catalogues of patterns available on the internet. Within it you will find:


Did you know...

 ... that to display the smallest known gun pattern for a Gemini spaceship at 1 cell = 1 pixel, on a standarddensity video monitor, a screen over one mile square would be needed?
 ... that no oddperiod glider guns were known before 1995, when a period 565 p5sparkassisted Bheptomino loop was constructed by David Buckingham?
 ... that even though the speed limit for spaceships is c/2 in a vacuum, in a medium of stripes agar there are "spaceships" that can travel at lightspeed along the stripes, or two thirds of lightspeed perpendicular to the stripes?
 ... that the smallest known spacefiller pattern consists of 187 cells?
 ... that the smallest known sawtooth pattern in Conway's Life consists of only 181 ON cells?
 ... that there are now over fifty known Herschel conduits, counting stable conduits only, and more than twice that number if oscillatorsupported conduits are included?
 ... that as of June 2015, because diagonal Geminoids are still theoretical, halfbakery knightships are the only known spaceships with fixed slope but adjustable speed?
 ... that a pattern exists in which no cell in the unbounded Life plane ever becomes periodic?
 ... that several candidate universal constructors have been demonstrated in Conway’s Life, but as of June 2015 none have been formally proven to be universal?
 ... that there are dozens of known Cordership variants, including puffers, rakes and wickstretchers, with periods of any multiple of 96?

