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the wiki for Conway's Game of Life.
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This week's featured article

A glider (or featherweight spaceship) is the smallest, most common, and first-discovered spaceship. Its name is due in part to the fact that it is glide symmetric. It travels diagonally across the Life grid at a speed of c/4 and is often produced by randomly-generated starting patterns. Gliders are important because they are easily produced (see Gosper glider gun), can be collided with each other to form more complicated objects (see glider synthesis), and can be used to transmit information over long distances. The glider was found by Richard K. Guy in 1970 while Conway's group was attempting to track the evolution of the R-pentomino. It is often stated that John Conway himself discovered the glider, but he has said that it was Guy.

Pattern collection

The LifeWiki contains one of the most comprehensive catalogues of patterns available on the internet. Within it you will find:
Download.gif Download pattern collection
2Mb .zip archive containing the 3000+ pattern files used on the wiki

Did you know...

  • ... that the first stable reflector was found in October 1996, and the first fast stable reflector appeared in 2013, allowing the construction of oscillators of all periods >=43 ticks?
  • ...that eighteen spaceship velocities have been constructed, including two infinitely adjustable families of ships?
  • ...that there are 71 distinct ways for two gliders to collide, but it is unknown how many distinct 3-glider collisions there are?
  • ... that to display the smallest known gun pattern for a Gemini spaceship at 1 cell = 1 pixel, on a standard-density video monitor, a screen over one mile square would be needed?
  • ... that no odd-period glider guns were known before 1995, when a period 565 p5-spark-assisted B-heptomino loop was constructed by David Buckingham?
  • ... that even though the speed limit for spaceships is c/2 in a vacuum, in a medium of stripes agar there are "spaceships" that can travel at lightspeed along the stripes, or two thirds of lightspeed perpendicular to the stripes?
  • ... that the smallest known spacefiller pattern consists of 187 cells?
  • ... that the smallest known sawtooth pattern in Conway's Life consists of only 181 ON cells?
  • ... that there are now over fifty known Herschel conduits, counting stable conduits only, and more than twice that number if oscillator-supported conduits are included?
  • ... that as of June 2015, because diagonal Geminoids are still theoretical, half-bakery knightships are the only known spaceships with fixed slope but adjustable speed?          
Showing 10 items out of 55 More did you know...