|View static image|
|Number of cells||2953|
|Discovered by||Dean Hickerson|
|Year of discovery||1991|
Primer is a pattern that was constructed by Dean Hickerson on November 1, 1991 that produces a stream of lightweight spaceships representing prime numbers. N is prime if and only if a lightweight spaceship escapes to the left of the pentadecathlon at the bottom-left corner of the pattern at generation 120N+100. It was the first pattern created that computes prime numbers, though others have since been constructed using the same ideas (see glider gunless primer).
It works by using gliders to emulate a prime number sieve. Lightweight spaceships that move westward are deleted by gliders that represent positive integers if the lightweight spaceship represents a multiple of that number.
- PRIMES.LIF from Alan Hensel's lifep.zip pattern collection. Accessed on July 28, 2009.
- four-primers.rle.gz from Golly's built-in pattern catalogue. Accessed on July 28, 2009.