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2bo5b$o3b4o$o3bo3b$o7b$3bo4b$b2o! #C [[ THEME 6 GRID GRIDMAJOR 0 THUMBLAUNCH AUTOSTART ]] #C [[ THUMBSIZE 2 GPS 2 ]]
Pattern type Oscillator
Number of cells 12
Bounding box 9×6
Period 3
Mod 3
Heat 14.7
Volatility 0.88
Strict volatility 0.88
Discovered by Dean Hickerson
Year of discovery 1989

Caterer is a period 3 oscillator found by Dean Hickerson on August 4, 1989.[1] Its rotor is similar to that of jam. In terms of its minimum population of 12 this is the smallest period 3 oscillator, and tied with fox as the smallest wholly asymmetric oscillator.

More generally, any oscillator which serves up a bit in the same manner, such as T-nosed p4 and T-nosed p6, may be referred to as a caterer.


Caterer is about the forty-second most common naturally-occurring oscillator in Achim Flammenkamp's census, being about as frequent as griddle and beehive.[2]


An 11-glider synthesis of the caterer was discovered by Tim Coe;[3] Tanner Jacobi and Chris Cain later found a 7-glider synthesis.

See also


  1. Dean Hickerson's oscillator stamp collection.
  2. Achim Flammenkamp (September 7, 2004). "Most seen natural occurring ash objects in Game of Life". Retrieved on January 15, 2009.
  3. "Life Credits". Mark D. Niemiec. Retrieved on June 10, 2011.

External links

  • Caterer at Eric Weisstein's Treasure Trove of Life