This week's featured article
| An eater is any still life that has the ability to interact with certain patterns without suffering any permanent damage. The term may also sometimes specifically refer to eater 1, a very common and well-known eater. The block was the first known eater, being found to be capable of eating beehives from a queen bee, allowing the construction of the queen bee shuttle. The animation to the right shows an eater 5 feasting on an incoming stream of gliders.
Eaters are extremely important, as they help stabilize and control debris created by complex reactions, allowing for the manipulation of the useful parts of those reactions. Stable reflectors in particular heavily rely on a variety of eaters to work.
In the news
- Mar. 7: A spider synthesis using 574 gliders and 9 LWSSes is found by Martin Grant. 
- Mar. 3: A period-120 oscillator, the highest period thus far, occurs from a natural soup on Catagolue.
- Mar. 2: Several symmetric-soup diehards with lifespans over 1500 ticks have been found by 'carybe', using apgsearch..
- Feb. 12: A lightweight Schick engine appears from a natural (C1) soup on Catagolue.
- Feb. 9: A 47,575-tick 16x16 methuselah found by Adam Goucher via apgsearch yields a 16-cell, 47,487-tick methuselah. This discovery skips over several empty 1000-tick bins in Catagolue above the previous record 16x16 methuselah, Homer.
- Feb. 4: A glider detection and removal upgrade in apgsearch version 4.91 gives a search speed boost of well over 50% compared to version 4.88.
- Feb. 4: Tanner Jacobi and Martin Grant find a recipe, subsequently reduced to 88 gliders, for the first-ever synthesizable c/4 spaceship, 46P4H1V0.
| The LifeWiki contains one of the most comprehensive catalogues of patterns available on the internet. Within it you will find:
Did you know...
- ... that with reverse caber-tosser universal constructor technology, it is possible to build any possible glider-constructible pattern, no matter what size, using only 35 gliders?
- ... that there are at least four known ways to send information diagonally at a speed greater than the maximum spaceship speed through vacuum? (Complete mechanisms include speeds approaching c/2 via two perpendicular telegraphs, and 2c/3 via a 2c/3 wire.)
- ... that an oscillator with strict volatility 1 can be constructed for any period 3506909 or higher?
- ... that the original Gemini's "below-the-elbow" construction efficiency, roughly three gliders per still life, is about four times better than that of any subsequent self-constructing spaceship?
- ... that an O(sqrt(log(t))) pattern was constructed in 2010, with a diameter that grows at the slowest possible asymptotic ("big O") rate for any Life pattern?
- ... that since the first Cordership was assembled from 13 switch engines in 1991, the number of switch engines required has gradually decreased, with a 2-engine Cordership finally making its appearance in 2017?
- ...that the bounding box and recovery time of the current fastest stable reflector, Mike Playle's Snark, are both more than two full orders of magnitude smaller than the first stable reflector, constructed by Paul Callahan in 1996?
- ... that the longest interesting pattern constructed, the caterpillar, contains over 11 million cells, and the 0E0P metacell contains over 18 million cells?
- ... that the Gosper glider gun was the first pattern to be discovered that exhibits infinite growth?
- ... that the block-laying switch engine and the glider-producing switch engine (and various combinations of two switch engines) are the only infinitely-growing patterns that are known to have ever occurred naturally from an asymmetric random starting configuration?