Twin bees shuttle

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Twin bees shuttle
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Pattern type Oscillator
Oscillator type Shuttle
Number of cells 28
Bounding box 32×13
Period 46
Mod 46
Heat 32.5
Volatility 0.98
Rotor type Twin bees
Discovered by Bill Gosper
Year of discovery 1971

The Twin bees shuttle (or B-heptomino shuttle[1]) was found by Bill Gosper in 1971.[2] Before discovery of the snark, it and its variants were the basis of all known period 46 oscillators (the version at right being the smallest based on its minimum population of 28 cells), and are still so of all known true period 46 guns, including the second known basic gun, new gun 1. The simplest such gun is the bi-gun, in which two twin bees shuttles collide with each other head-on (much like the collision of two queen bees in the Gosper glider gun).

There are numerous ways to stabilize the ends, two of which are shown to the right; a stabilization by two blocks on the left of the pattern, and a stabilization by one block on the right. This latter method produces a very large spark which is useful in a number of ways. For example, the large spark can be used to convert an incoming glider into a lightweight spaceship, as illustrated by double X. The image below shows David Bell's double block reaction (on the left), which results in a shorter but wider shuttle than usual, as well as Heinrich Koenig's hat stabilization (on the right).

Interactions based on the twin bees shuttle are numerous and can have many applications. Some notable reactions are period 46 oscillators that can directly reflect gliders, lightweight spaceships, and middleweight spaceships, as well as convert gliders to lightweight spaceships and lightweight spaceships to middleweight spaceships.

The period-92 do-see-do reaction was found by David Bell in 1996.[3] It is a 90 degree glider reflection reaction in which the gliders appear to circle around each other.

Image gallery

Some alternate stabilizations of the twin bees shuttle
RLE: here
Several interactions involving the twin bees shuttle
Download RLE: click here
RLE: here

See also


  1. "B-heptomino shuttle". The Life Lexicon. Stephen Silver.
  2. Dean Hickerson's oscillator stamp collection.
  3. "Do-see-do". The Life Lexicon. Stephen Silver.

External links