This week's featured article
The pi calculator is a device constructed by Adam P. Goucher in February 2010, which calculates the decimal digits of pi and displays them in the Life universe as 8×10 dot matrix characters.
The actual calculation is done in binary, using a streaming spigot algorithm based on linear fractional transformations. The pi calculator is made up of a 188-state computer connected to a printing device via period-8 regulators and a binary-to-decimal conversion mechanism. The complete pattern can be found in Golly's Very Large Patterns online archive.
| The LifeWiki contains one of the most comprehensive catalogues of patterns available on the internet. Within it you will find:
Did you know...
- ...that without the use of adjustable glider loops, there are no known oscillators with periods 43, 49 or 53?
- ... 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 block-laying switch engine and the glider-producing switch engine (and various combinations of two switch engines) are the only infinitely-growing patterns that are known to have ever occurred naturally from an asymmetric 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 second-place 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?
- ... that the first known period 37 and 51 oscillators were found in 2009?