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Welcome to LifeWiki,
the wiki for Conway's Game of Life.
Currently contains 1,780 articles.
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This week's featured article

Sawtooth260 pop.png

A sawtooth is a finite pattern whose population grows without bound but does not tend to infinity. In other words, it is a pattern with population that reaches new heights infinitely often, but also infinitely often drops below some fixed value. Their name comes from the fact that their plot of population versus generation number looks roughly like an ever-increasing sawtooth graph.

The first sawtooth was constructed by Dean Hickerson in April 1991 by using a loaf tractor beam (a technique that was also used in the construction of sawtooth 633). The least infinitely repeating population of any known sawtooth is 177, attained by Sawtooth 177; the smallest bounding box of any known sawtooth is 62x56, attained by a variant of the same pattern, Sawtooth 195

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Pattern collection

The LifeWiki contains one of the most comprehensive catalogues of patterns available on the internet. Within it you will find:
Download.gif Download pattern collection
2 MB .zip archive containing the 1500+ RLE pattern files used on the wiki

Did you know...

  • ... that the waterbear was the first known high-speed oblique spaceship, many orders of magnitude faster than Gemini spaceships and half-baked knightships?
  • ... that there are no known direct reflectors for lightspeed wire signals, or for signals in 2c/3 wires, but that very large reflectors for these signals can be constructed using stable or periodic circuitry?
  • ... that 24 ten-cell patterns exhibit infinite growth, with 17 unique pattern types, but that it has been proven that no nine-cell pattern exhibits infinite growth?
  • ... that all still lifes up to 18 bits have a known glider synthesis, but it is still not known whether all still lifes are synthesizable?
  • ... that the French kiss remained without a glider synthesis until 2013?
  • ... that Adam P. Goucher's distributed Catagolue soup-search project, started in February 2015, has already tested more random soups than any previous such project, and has contributed to the reduction of many glider construction recipes?
  • ... that any glider-constructible Life pattern can be constructed with a fixed maximum number of gliders N, probably less than 1000? It is only necessary to construct a sliding-block decoder, which self-destructs after converting the position of a far-distant block into a slow-salvo recipe that constructs the required pattern.
  • ... 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 non-flotilla spaceship, but was discovered 43 years after the four spaceships smaller than it?
  • ... that despite being the fourth smallest non-flotilla orthogonal spaceship, loafer has never appeared from a single randomly generated soup?          
Showing 10 items out of 92 More did you know...