This week's featured article

A spaceship (much less commonly referred to as a glider or a fish) is a finite pattern that returns to its initial state after a number of generations (known as its period) but in a different location. The speed of a spaceship is the number of cells that the pattern moves during its period. This is expressed in terms of c (the metaphorical "speed of light") which is one cell per generation; thus, a spaceship with a period of five that moves two cells to the left during its period travels at the speed of 2c/5. Most known spaceships in Life travel either orthogonally (only horizontal or vertical displacement) or diagonally (equal horizontal and vertical displacement). However, several large Conway's Life spaceships have been engineered that travel in various oblique directions, and it is known that Life has spaceships that travel in all rational directions at arbitrarily slow speeds.

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 some infinitelygrowing patterns can be constructed with as few as three gliders?
 ... that quadraticallygrowing patterns have been found with as few as 23 initial cells?
 ... that the blinker is the only known oscillator that is one cell thick?
 ... that the first spaceship found in Conway's Game of Life that travels in an oblique direction was discovered in 2010?
 ... that there are still lifes that can be split into four stable islands, but not two or three?
 ... that no new spaceships were discovered after 1970 until 1989?
 ... that the first stable reflector was found in October 1996, and the first fast stable reflector appeared in 2013, allowing the construction of oscillators of all periods ≥43 ticks?
 ... that twentytwo spaceship velocities have been constructed, including four infinitely adjustable families of ships?
 ... that there are 71 distinct ways for two gliders to collide, but it is unknown how many distinct 3glider collisions there are?
 ... 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?

