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A finite pattern is said to exhibit infinite growth if it is such that its population is unbounded. That is, for any number N there exists a generation n such that the population in generation n is greater than N. The first known pattern to exhibit infinite growth was the Gosper glider gun. In 1971, Charles Corderman found that a switch engine could be stabilized by a preblock in a number of different ways to produce either a blocklaying switch engine or a gliderproducing switch engine, giving several 11cell patterns with infinite growth. This record for smallest infinitelygrowing pattern stood for more than quarter of a century until Paul Callahan found, in November 1997, two 10cell patterns with infinite growth. Nick Gotts and Paul Callahan have since shown that there is no infinite growth pattern with fewer than 10 cells, so the question of the smallest infinite growth pattern in terms of number of cells has been answered completely.

In the news


Pattern collection

The LifeWiki contains one of the most comprehensive catalogues of patterns available on the internet. Within it you will find:


Did you know...

 ... a pattern of 44 cells exists whose population grows by exactly one cell each generation?
 ... it is possible to send a signal from one side to the other of an infinite diagonal line of cells without destroying the line?
 ... there are 'Heisenburp' reactions which can detect the passage of a glider without affecting it in any way?
 ... Corderships can be constructed using individual switch engines placed arbitrarily far from each other, that will still support each other using intermediary gliders and stable objects?
 ... fuses can be made that burn arbitrarily slowly, based on sending spaceships back and forth between two rows of stable objects?
 ... there exist 'lone dot' agars consisting of isolated cells in every generation?
 ... that some types of spaceship, but not all, support stable Heisenburp technology, where an arrangement of still lifes detects the passage of the spaceship, emits a signal, and returns to its original state?
 ... that, while it is impossible to build a true stable Heisenburp device that detects a passing glider without even temporarily affecting it, there are several known stable pseudoHeisenburp devices?
 ... that the name of the Bandersnatch, a colorchanging laneshifter device discovered in 2020, is derived from a Lewis Carroll poem that also supplied names for the Snark, the boojum reflector, and the Bellman search utility?
 ... that the first rake that produces spaceships travelling in the same direction but slower was found in 2003, using a c/2 rake to produce 2c/5 spaceships?

