Blinker
Blinker  
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Pattern type  Oscillator  

Oscillator type  Muttering moat  
Family  Clock  
Number of cells  3  
Bounding box  3×3  
Frequency class  0.1  
Period  2  
Mod  1  
Heat  4  
Volatility  0.80  
Strict volatility  0.80  
Rotor type  Pole 2  
Discovered by  John Conway  
Year of discovery  1970  
 
 
 

The blinker is the smallest and most common oscillator, found by John Conway in March 1970.^{[1]} It is one of only a handful of known oscillators that is a polyomino, and it is the only known finite oscillator that is one cell thick (although the pentadecathlon is "almost" one cell thick in that there is a one cell thick pattern that is a grandparent of it, and the infinite version of the worker bee is one cell thick).
Blinkers are very commonly formed in a set of four called the traffic light; they can similarly be born in two potential sets of six, the interchanges. There is also a fairly common constellation of four blinkers and two boatties.
When phased correctly, blinkers can provide a purpose similar to an induction coil as seen on the overweight emulator, and can sometimes be positioned so that it either contacts the oscillating segment directly or is one cell away from it similarly to normal induction coils.
The blinker can also be a stationary segment known as "line" in certain still lifes; the most basic of these being integral sign but can also be used to connect any number of preblocks, tubs, beehives, loaves, mangoes, hooks, claws, etc. together. One example is boat line tub.
The blinker can function as a transparent catalyst in a certain reaction where it is converted into a traffic light predecessor, which a fishhook (or another catalyst that engages in the same type of catalyzing reaction, such as an eater 2) then converts back to a blinker in the same position. This rephases the blinker, so it can only be used in oddperiod oscillators, such as 66P13 and the p47 prepulsar shuttle. In addition, worker bee and 50P35 involve a similar reaction.
Commonness
The blinker is more than one hundred times as common in Achim Flammenkamp's census as the second most common oscillator, the toad.^{[2]} The blinker is also the second most common object on Adam P. Goucher's Catagolue.^{[3]}
See also
References
 ↑ Dean Hickerson's oscillator stamp collection. Retrieved on March 14, 2020.
 ↑ Achim Flammenkamp (September 7, 2004). "Most seen natural occurring ash objects in Game of Life". Retrieved on January 15, 2009.
 ↑ Adam P. Goucher. "Statistics". Catagolue. Retrieved on June 24, 2016.
External links
 Blinker at the Life Lexicon
 3P2.1 at Heinrich Koenig's Game of Life Object Catalogs
 Patterns
 Patterns with Catagolue frequency class 0.1
 Natural periodic objects
 Oscillators with 3 cells
 Patterns with 3 cells
 Patterns found by John Conway
 Patterns found in 1970
 Patterns that can be constructed with 2 gliders
 Oscillators
 Periodic objects with minimum population 3
 Clock variants
 Muttering moats
 Oscillators with period 2
 Oscillators with mod 1
 Oscillators with heat 4
 Oscillators with volatility 0.80
 Oscillators with strict volatility 0.80
 Oscillators with rotor Pole 2
 Patterns with rectangular orthogonal symmetry
 Flipping oscillators