One-time reflector

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A one-time reflector is a constellation or other pattern that can be hit by a glider to produce another glider travelling in a different direction. This contrasts with permanent reflectors, which will survive and can be reused to reflect further gliders; and with one-time converter, which produces an output different from the input.

One-time reflectors are an important component for slow salvo synthesis, where they are frequently used to change the direction from which a target glider will hit the reaction site.

If a constellation upon being hit by a glider instead produces a glider travelling in the same direction, it is known as a rephaser.

The simplest one-time reflectors are boat, eater 1, and toad, any one of which of which can reflect a glider 90°, and long boat, which can reflect a glider either 90° or 180°.

See also