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Pi-heptomino image
Pattern type Methuselah
Lifespan 173 generations
Number of cells 7
Bounding box 3×3
Discovered by Unknown
Year of discovery Unknown

Pi-heptomino (or pi; sometimes called blasting cap at MIT after its shape at generation 1[1]) is a common heptomino that stabilizes at generation 173. The name "pi" is also applied to some slight variations of this object that follow that same evolutionary sequence – in a pi ship, for example, the pi-heptomino itself never actually arises. Forms that are synonymous with the pi-heptomino are displayed below.

In April 1992, Bill Gosper discovered that two blocks can be used to eat a pi, as shown below. The eating reaction takes 65 generations to complete. Gosper also discovered in the same month that a pi, along with two blocks and two blinkers, can be used to create a queen bee shuttle.

Image gallery

Generation 1 of pi-heptomino
A grandparent (a pentaplet) and parent (a hexomino) of pi
An alternative parent of generation 1
A pi eater
RLE: here
Another pi eater
RLE: here
This pattern, which resembles the word "Pi", evolves exactly like the Pi-heptomino after two generations, stabilizing at generation 174.

See also


  1. "Blasting cap". The Life Lexicon. Stephen Silver. Retrieved on May 14, 2016.

External links