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 pre-block in a number of different ways to produce either a block-laying switch engine or a glider-producing switch engine, giving several 11-cell patterns with infinite growth. This record for smallest infinitely-growing pattern stood for more than quarter of a century until Paul Callahan found, in November 1997, two 10-cell 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.
In the news
- A new oblique camelship, much smaller and lower population than the Gemini 3 variant from 2010, is completed by Chris Cain.
- The value of V, the lowest number for which an oscillator can be constructed with strict volatility 1 for that or any higher period, is reduced to 3,506,909 ticks.
- Adam P. Goucher sets another new record using the latest apgsearch by finding "Homer", a 16x16 methuselah with a lifespan of 42883 ticks.
- An update to slsparse allows it to recognize 45-degree MWSS-to-G converters in any orientation, and use unidirectional slow salvo recipes to construct them.
- Entity Valkyrie discovers a new period-13 FNG suppression mechanism, allowing the true period-52 glider gun to be reduced to less than a seventh of its previous size.
- A working 0E0P metacell is announced by Adam P. Goucher, along with several improvements to slmake, the program used to compile the metacell.
| The LifeWiki contains one of the most comprehensive catalogues of patterns available on the internet. Within it you will find:
Did you know...
- ... 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 N-bit still lifes?
- ... that the odds of a randomly-chosen 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 16 cells can be synthesized at a cost of less than one glider per cell?
- ... that the first elementary knightship, Sir Robin, was discovered only in 2018, with there having been a very close call in 2004?
- ... that there is a 6x2 counterexample to the Coolout Conjecture, proving that patterns that are internally compatible with stability can not always be made part of a larger still life, no matter what cells are added around the edges?
- ... that a Conway's Life pattern representing a complete programmable 8-bit computer, consisting only of buckaroos, p60 glider guns, and glider duplicators, was completed in November 2016?
- ... that whilst no elementary oblique spaceships were found in B3/S23 until 2018, and none have occurred naturally, at least two naturally occurring reactions have been discovered in B38/S23 that travel in an oblique direction?