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Pattern type Oscillator
Number of cells 48
Bounding box 15×15
Period 3
Mod 3
Heat 42.7
Volatility 0.73
Strict volatility 0.73
Rotor type Pulsar
Discovered by John Conway
Year of discovery 1970

Pulsar (rarely referred to as Cambridge pulsar CP 48-56-72[note 1]) is a large but surprisingly common period 3 oscillator. It was found very early on by John Conway.

The rotor of a pulsar consists of four mutually stabilizing quadrants; alternate arrangements exist for any odd multiple of 4 (for the version with 12 copies, see quasar). A closely related oscillator — the pulsar quadrant — includes just the external "horns" of the rotor and can be stabilized on its own.


Despite its size, pulsar is the fourth most common oscillator (and by far the most common of period greater than 2) in Achim Flammenkamp's census; the only oscillators more common are blinker, toad, and beacon.[1] The pulsar is also the twenty-first most common object on Adam P. Goucher's Catagolue.[2]

See also


  1. The numbers refer to the populations of the three phases. The Life pulsar was indeed discovered at Cambridge, like the first real pulsar a few years earlier.


  1. Achim Flammenkamp (September 7, 2004). "Most seen natural occurring ash objects in Game of Life". Retrieved on January 15, 2009.
  2. Adam P. Goucher. "Statistics". Catagolue. Retrieved on June 24, 2016.

External links