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:factory Another word for gun, but not used in the case of glider guns. The term is also used for a pattern that repeatedly manufactures objects other than spaceships or rakes. In this case the new objects do not move out of the way, and therefore must be used up in some way before the next one is made. The following shows an example of a p144 gun which consists of a p144 block factory whose output is converted into gliders by a p72 oscillator. (This gun is David Bell's improvement of the one Bill Gosper found in July 1994. The p72 oscillator is by Robert Wainwright, 1990, and the block factory is Achim's p144 minus one of its stabilizing blocks.)

	.......................OO........................OO
	.......................OO........................OO
	.........................................OO........
	........................................O..O.......
	.........................................OO........
	...................................................
	....................................OOO............
	....................................O.O............
	.........OO.........................OOO............
	.........OO.........................OO.............
	........O..O.......................OOO.............
	........O..O.OO....................O.O.............
	........O....OO....................OOO.............
	..........OO.OO....................................
	...............................OO..................
	.....................OO.......O..O.................
	.....................OO........OO..................
	.................................................OO
	.................................................OO
	...................................................
	....OO..................O..........................
	OO....OOOO..........OO..OO.OOO.....................
	OO..OO.OOO..........OO....OOOO.....................
	....O...................OO.........................

:familiar fours Common patterns of four identical objects. The five commonest are traffic light (4 blinkers), honey farm (4 beehives), blockade (4 blocks), fleet (4 ships, although really 2 ship-ties) and bakery (4 loaves, although really 2 bi-loaves).

:fanout A mechanism that emits two or more objects of some type for each one that it receives. Typically the objects are gliders or Herschels; glider duplicators are a special case.

:Fast Forward Force Field The following reaction found by Dieter Leithner in May 1994. In the absence of the incoming LWSS the gliders would simply annihilate one another, but as shown they allow the LWSS to advance 11 spaces in the course of the next 6 generations. A neat illusion. See also star gate. (Leithner named the Fast Forward Force Field in honour of his favourite science fiction writer, the physicist Robert L. Forward.)

	.......O......O..
	........O......OO
	..OO..OOO.....OO.
	OO.OO............
	OOOO.........O...
	.OO.........OO...
	............O.O..

:father = parent

:featherweight spaceship = glider

:fencepost Any pattern that stabilizes one end of a wick.

:Fermat prime calculator A pattern constructed by Jason Summers in January 2000 that exhibits infinite growth if and only if there are no Fermat primes greater than 65537. The question of whether or not it really does exhibit infinite growth is therefore equivalent to a well-known and long-standing unsolved mathematical problem. It will, however, still be growing at generation 102585827975. The pattern is based on Dean Hickerson's primer and caber tosser patterns and a p8 beehive puffer by Hartmut Holzwart.

:F-heptomino Name given by Conway to the following heptomino.

	OO..
	.O..
	.O..
	.OOO

:figure-8 (p8) Found by Simon Norton in 1970.

	OOO...
	OOO...
	OOO...
	...OOO
	...OOO
	...OOO

:filter Any oscillator used to delete some but not all of the spaceships in a stream. An example is the blocker, which can be positioned so as to delete every other glider in a stream of period 8n+4, and can also do the same for LWSS streams. Other examples are the MW emulator and T-nosed p4 (either of which can be used to delete every other LWSS in a stream of period 4n+2), the fountain (which does the same for MWSS streams) and a number of others, such as the p6 pipsquirter, the pentadecathlon and the p72 oscillator shown under factory. Another example, a p4 oscillator deleting every other HWSS in a stream of period 4n+2, is shown below. (The p4 oscillator here was found, with a slightly larger stator, by Dean Hickerson in November 1994.)

	..........OOOO............
	....OO...OOOOOO...........
	OOOO.OO..OOOO.OO..........
	OOOOOO.......OO...........
	.OOOO.....................
	..........................
	................OO........
	..............O....O......
	..........................
	.............O.O..O.O.....
	...........OOOO.OO.OOOO...
	........O.O....O..O....O.O
	........OO.OO.O....O.OO.OO
	...........O.O......O.O...
	........OO.O.O......O.O.OO
	........OO.O..........O.OO
	...........O.O.OOOO.O.O...
	...........O.O......O.O...
	..........OO.O.OOOO.O.OO..
	..........O..OOO..OOO..O..
	............O..OOOO..O....
	...........OO.O....O.OO...
	...........O..O....O..O...
	............O..O..O..O....
	.............OO....OO.....

:fire-spitting (p3) Found by Nicolay Beluchenko, September 2003.

	...O......
	.OOO......
	O.........
	.O.OOO....
	.O.....O..
	..O..O....
	..O.O..O.O
	........OO

:fish A generic term for LWSS, MWSS and HWSS, or, more generally, for any spaceship.

:fishhook = eater1

:fleet (p1) A common formation of two ship-ties.

	....OO....
	....O.O...
	.....OO...
	.......OO.
	OO.....O.O
	O.O.....OO
	.OO.......
	...OO.....
	...O.O....
	....OO....

:flip-flop Any p2 oscillator. However, the term is also used in two more specific (and non-equivalent) senses: (a) any p2 oscillator whose two phases are mirror images of one another, and (b) any p2 oscillator in which all rotor cells die from underpopulation. In the latter sense it contrasts with on-off. The term has also been used even more specifically for the 12-cell flip-flop shown under phoenix.

:flip-flops Another name for the flip-flop shown under phoenix.

:flipper Any oscillator or spaceship that forms its mirror image halfway through its period.

:flotilla A spaceship composed of a number of smaller interacting spaceships. Often one or more of these is not a true spaceship and could not survive without the support of the others. The following example shows an OWSS escorted by two HWSS.

	....OOOO.......
	...OOOOOO......
	..OO.OOOO......
	...OO..........
	...............
	...........OO..
	.O............O
	O..............
	O.............O
	OOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
	...............
	...............
	....OOOO.......
	...OOOOOO......
	..OO.OOOO......
	...OO..........

:fly A certain c/3 tagalong found by David Bell, April 1992. Shown here attached to the back of a small spaceship (also by Bell).

	..O...............................
	.O.O..............................
	.O.O......................O.O...O.
	.O.......................OO.O.O..O
	...........OOO........O.........O.
	OO.........OO..O.OO...O..OOOO.....
	.O.O.........OOOO..O.O..OO....OO..
	.OO........O..O...OOO.....OOO.....
	..O.......O....O..OO..OO..O..O....
	...O..O...O....O..OOO.O.O....OO...
	.......O.OO....O..OOOO.....O......
	....OO...OO....O..OOOO.....O......
	....O.O...O....O..OOO.O.O....OO...
	...OO.....O....O..OO..OO..O..O....
	....O.O....O..O...OOO.....OOO.....
	.....O.......OOOO..O.O..OO....OO..
	...........OO..O.OO...O..OOOO.....
	...........OOO........O.........O.
	.........................OO.O.O..O
	..........................O.O...O.

:flying machine = Schick engine

:fore and back (p2) Compare snake pit. Found by Achim Flammenkamp, July 1994.

	OO.OO..
	OO.O.O.
	......O
	OOO.OOO
	O......
	.O.O.OO
	..OO.OO

:forward glider A glider which moves at least partly in the same direction as the puffer(s) or spaceship(s) under consideration.

:fountain (p4) Found by Dean Hickerson in November 1994, and named by Bill Gosper. See also filter and superfountain.

	.........O.........
	...................
	...OO.O.....O.OO...
	...O.....O.....O...
	....OO.OO.OO.OO....
	...................
	......OO...OO......
	OO...............OO
	O..O...O.O.O...O..O
	.OOO.OOOOOOOOO.OOO.
	....O....O....O....
	...OO.........OO...
	...O...........O...
	.....O.......O.....
	....OO.......OO....

:fourteener (p1)

	....OO.
	OO..O.O
	O.....O
	.OOOOO.
	...O...

:fox (p2) This is the smallest asymmetric p2 oscillator. Found by Dave Buckingham, July 1977.

	....O..
	....O..
	..O..O.
	OO.....
	....O.O
	..O.O.O
	......O

:French kiss (p3) Found by Robert Wainwright, July 1971.

	O.........
	OOO.......
	...O......
	..O..OO...
	..O....O..
	...OO..O..
	......O...
	.......OOO
	.........O

:frog II (p3) Found by Dave Buckingham, October 1972.

	..OO...OO..
	..O.O.O.O..
	....O.O....
	...O.O.O...
	...OO.OO...
	.OO.....OO.
	O..O.O.O..O
	.O.O...O.O.
	OO.O...O.OO
	....OOO....
	...........
	...O.OO....
	...OO.O....

:frothing puffer A frothing puffer (or a frothing spaceship) is a puffer (or spaceship) whose back end appears to be unstable and breaking apart, but which nonetheless survives. The exhaust festers and clings to the back of the puffer/spaceship before breaking off. The first known frothing puffers were c/2, and most were found by slightly modifying the back ends of p2 spaceships. A number of these have periods which are not a multiple of 4 (as with some line puffers). Paul Tooke has also found c/3 frothing puffers.

The following p78 c/2 frothing puffer was found by Paul Tooke in April 2001.

	.......O.................O.......
	......OOO...............OOO......
	.....OO....OOO.....OOO....OO.....
	...OO.O..OOO..O...O..OOO..O.OO...
	....O.O..O.O...O.O...O.O..O.O....
	.OO.O.O.O.O....O.O....O.O.O.O.OO.
	.OO...O.O....O.....O....O.O...OO.
	.OOO.O...O....O.O.O....O...O.OOO.
	OO.........OO.O.O.O.OO.........OO
	............O.......O............
	.........OO.O.......O.OO.........
	..........O...........O..........
	.......OO.O...........O.OO.......
	.......OO...............OO.......
	.......O.O.O.OOO.OOO.O.O.O.......
	......OO...O...O.O...O...OO......
	......O..O...O.O.O.O...O..O......
	.........OO....O.O....OO.........
	.....OO....O...O.O...O....OO.....
	.........O.OO.O...O.OO.O.........
	..........O.O.O.O.O.O.O..........
	............O..O.O..O............
	...........O.O.....O.O...........

:frothing spaceship See frothing puffer.

:fumarole (p5) Found by Dean Hickerson in September 1989. In terms of its 7×8 bounding box this is the smallest p5 oscillator.

	...OO...
	.O....O.
	.O....O.
	.O....O.
	..O..O..
	O.O..O.O
	OO....OO

:fuse A wick burning at one end. For examples, see baker, beacon maker, blinker ship, boat maker, cow, harvester, lightspeed wire, pi ship, reverse fuse, superstring and washerwoman. Useful fuses are usually clean.


Introduction | 1-9 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | Bibliography