This week's featured article
|A switch engine is a methuselah that was found by Charles Corderman in 1971. It is unstable by itself, but it can be used to make c/12 diagonal puffers and spaceships.
There are two basic types of stabilized switch engine, both of which were also found by Charles Corderman: the period 288 block-laying switch engine (the more common of the two) and period 384 glider-producing switch engine. These two puffers are the most natural infinite growth patterns in Life, being by far the most common ones to occur from non-symmetric random starting patterns.
In the news
|The LifeWiki contains one of the most comprehensive catalogues of patterns available on the internet. Within it you will find:
Did you know...
- ... that Gemini, the first spaceship found in Conway's Game of Life that travels in an oblique direction, was discovered in 2010?
- ... that there are still lifes (such as the quad pseudo still life) that can be split into four stable islands, but not two or three?
- ... that no new spaceship speeds were discovered after 1970 until 1989?
- ... that the first stable reflector was found in October 1996, and the first fast stable reflector appeared in 2013, allowing the construction of oscillators of all periods ≥43 ticks?
- ... that nineteen spaceship velocities have been constructed, excluding several infinitely adjustable families of ships?
- ... that there are 71 distinct ways for two gliders to collide, but it is unknown how many distinct 3-glider collisions there are?
- ... that to display the smallest known gun pattern for a Gemini spaceship at 1 cell = 1 pixel, on a standard-density video monitor, a screen over one mile square would be needed?
- ... that no odd-period glider guns were known before 1995, when a period 565 p5-spark-assisted B-heptomino loop was constructed by David Buckingham?
- ... that even though the speed limit for spaceships is c/2 in a vacuum, in a medium of stripes agar there are "spaceships" that can travel at lightspeed along the stripes, or two thirds of lightspeed perpendicular to the stripes?
- ... that the smallest known spacefiller pattern consists of 187 cells?