Space dust

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Space dust is a part of a spaceship or oscillator that looks like a random mixture of alive and dead cells. It is usually very difficult to find glider syntheses for objects that consist wholly or partly of space dust.

The term is due to Dave Buckingham, who used it to describe patterns that are inconstructible -- in practice if not as a matter of principle:

David Buckingham, an incomparable glider synthesis expert, has described spaceships which, like the Spider, can be found by search programs but don't occur naturally, as "spacedust". By this he meant: inconstructible. The task of constructing such a spaceship has been likened to building a Formula-1 race car whilst it's on the track and travelling at 200mph. I'm paraphrasing, because I can't remember the exact quote or who wrote this but I'm sure that you get my drift.
— Paul Tooke (2010)[1]

As examples, the 295P5H1V1, fly, and seal spaceships contain large amounts of space dust.


  1. Dave Greene. Re: Famous Quotes (discussion thread) at the forums

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