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IceNine[note 1] is Dave Greene's name for a hypothetical unstoppable quadratic growth pattern that expands outward through random ash at speed c/137, described as follows in a tongue-in-cheek post in February 2008:

He went on to further characterize IceNine as follows:

It is generally agreed that a pattern exhibiting the characteristics of IceNine cannot exist in Conway's Game of Life, but a formal proof remains elusive.


  1. The name is a reference to the chemical of the same name in the novel Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, with similar properties to the hypothetical pattern. It is not related to Ice IX, a metastable form of solid water.

External links

  • Adam P. Goucher (June 13, 2009). Re: Stable Life? (discussion thread) at the forums