This week's featured article

A finite pattern is said to exhibit infinite growth if it is such that its population is unbounded. That is, for any number N there exists a generation n such that the population in generation n is greater than N. The first known pattern to exhibit infinite growth was the Gosper glider gun. In 1971, Charles Corderman found that a switch engine could be stabilized by a preblock in a number of different ways to produce either a blocklaying switch engine or a gliderproducing switch engine, giving several 11cell patterns with infinite growth. This record for smallest infinitelygrowing pattern stood for more than quarter of a century until Paul Callahan found, in November 1997, two 10cell patterns with infinite growth. Nick Gotts and Paul Callahan have since shown that there is no infinite growth pattern with fewer than 10 cells, so the question of the smallest infinite growth pattern in terms of number of cells has been answered completely.

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 Copperhead is not only the first c/10 orthogonal spaceship ever found, but also remarkably compact for a pattern not discovered until 2016?
 ... that loafer is the fifth smallest nonflotilla spaceship, but was discovered 43 years after the four spaceships smaller than it?
 ... that despite being the fourth smallest nonflotilla orthogonal spaceship, loafer has never appeared from a single randomly generated soup?
 ... that all known glider eaters take at least four ticks to recover to their original state after eating a glider?
 ... that the smallest 31c/240 spaceship does not make use of the 31c/240 reaction?
 ... that there is roughly one chance in 10^(N/3) that a still life appearing out of random soup will have a population of exactly N cells?
 ... that the number of still lifes with N+1 bits is roughly 2.48 times larger than the number of Nbit still lifes?
 ... that the odds of a randomlychosen 20x20 soup pattern being a methuselah that lasts between 1000N and 1000(N+1) ticks, is roughly the same as the odds that it will last any amount of time longer than 1000x(N+1) ticks?
 ... that all still lifes up to 15 cells can be synthesized at a cost of less than one glider per cell?
 ... that absolutely no elementary knightships have been discovered as of 2016, though there has been at least one very close call?

