This week's featured article

Pentadecathlon is a period 15 oscillator that was found in 1970 by John Conway while tracking the history of short rows of cells (see one cell thick pattern). Indeed, 10 cells placed in a row quickly evolve into this object, which is the most natural oscillator of period greater than 3. In fact, it is the fifth or sixth most common oscillator overall, being about as frequent as the clock, but much less frequent than the blinker, toad, beacon or pulsar. It is the only known oscillator that is a polyomino in more than one phase (besides the blinker).

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 an Nbit period2 oscillator can be constructed for any odd integer N using no more than 45 gliders, and for any even integer N using no more than 46 gliders, using a temporary tubstretcher?
 ...that there are 2,299,616,637 strict still lifes with population 31?
 ... that the largest interesting pattern constructed, the caterpillar, contains over 11 million cells?
 ... that the Gosper glider gun was the first pattern to be discovered that exhibits infinite growth?
 ... that the blocklaying switch engine and the gliderproducing switch engine (and various combinations of two switch engines) are the only two infinitelygrowing patterns that are known to have ever occurred naturally from a nonsymmetric random starting configuration?
 ... that oscillators are known that oscillate at all periods other than 19, 23, 34, 38 and 41?
 ... that the pentadecathlon and the blinker are the only known oscillators that are polyominos in more than one phase?
 ... that it is impossible for a period 3 oscillator to be a phoenix?
 ... that the methuselah with the longest known lifespan, 40514M, lasts for over 40,000 generations before stabilizing? The secondplace holder, Fred, runs for over 35,000 ticks.
 ... that replicators with quadratic population growth are known to exist in Conway's Game of Life, but none have yet been found?

