Life Methuselahs

Introduction
Size in bits: 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
Period of final census: 1 | 2 | 4 | 60
Cost in gliders: 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6



Methuselahs are unstable patterns that run for a long time before stabilizing, usually into a constellation. Since they aren't stable, they don't actually have periods. The periods shown here associated with them are the periods of their final censuses. For example, this is 4 if the census includes any gliders or spaceships, 2 if it doesn't but includes blinkers or toads, and 1 if it includes only still-lifes. In one case (the glider-mango collision), the period is 60, because it includes all of these plus a pentadecathlon. Coincidentally, that is also the only methuselah listed here whose final census population is not constant, also because of the pentadecathlon. (Beacons also cause similar population fluctuation, and occur frequently; however, none of the methuselahs listed here have any beacons in their final censuses). Each methuselah has the population of its final census shown at its bottom right corner on the stamp image.

Since methuselahs do not repeat, they are listed under the smallest known pattern that evolves along the same sequence. In many cases, this is smaller than the "standard" size. For example, the standard sizes of the Pi heptomino, B heptomino, and Octomino buildable from 2 gliders are respectively 7, 7 and 8, but their minimum sizes are 5, 6, and 7. Where there are more than one of these, the one with the longest running time is shown, and where there are several of those, one with the smallest bounding box is shown. Also, the syntheses are of various patterns along this sequence, not necessarily the first generation. These are grouped by common predecessor. In some cases, a single pattern may have different names for different phases (for example, a House is the third generation of the Pi heptomino, which is itself the second generation of the base 5-bit methuselah, and Bunnies is the immediate predecessor to Rabbits.)

Where names do not correspond to the phase shown, but occur later, the generation number at which the named pattern occurs is shown after the name with an @ sign. The generation at which the pattern achieves stability (i.e. census consists entirely of still-lifes, oscillators, and/or escaping spaceships) is also described. Note that in some cases (e.g. Dove), the named pattern does not evolve directly from the shown predecessor; rather, the two evolve into a shared common descendent some time shortly afterwards.

Also, since these patterns do not repeat, there is no attempt to synchronize starting and ending generations. Furthermore, as most methuselahs expand to very large sizes, there is insufficient space within most of the synthesis pages to run the patterns to completion, especially for common methuselahs for which multiple syntheses are given; these pages only deal with synthesis of the methuselahs themselves, but not with their ultimate censuses.

To allow viewing of methuselah census, results, each of the text tables here contains two rows. The upper row shows the glider synthesis of the methuselah (or an early-generation equivalent), while the lower row shows its final census. If the census results are sufficiently small, both of these may point to the same file; otherwise, large methuselahs run alone to allow them to fill large areas - especially if they release many gliders.



The 2 five-bit methuselahs

5-bit methuselahs

Pi Hept- omino (@2); Blasting cap (@2); House (@5) [2] R pent- omino (@2) [3]
2 Ponds, 6 blocks, 5 blinkers (@175) Loaf, ship, 4 beehives, boat, 8 blocks, 4 blinkers, 6 gliders (@1105)


7 six-bit methuselahs

6-bit methuselahs

Handshake (@5); Lumps of muck (LOM) (@7) [2] Thompson's 6-bit methuselah [6] Century (@1); Bookend (@2); Hook (@2); Kidney (@2) [3] Thunder- bird (@1) [4] B Hept- omino (@1) [2] Block and glider; Wing (@2); R-Loaf (@2) [3] Herschel parent; Herschel (@1) [3]
Blockade (4 blocks) (@67) Loaf, 6 blocks and 12 blinkers (@608) Blinker and 3 blocks (@103) 4 Beehives, 2 boats, 2 blinkers (@244) Ship, 3 blocks, 2 gliders (@149) Block and glider (@106) Ship, 2 blocks, glider (@128)


4 seven-bit methuselahs

7-bit methuselahs

(2 glider) Oct- omino (@4) [2] Dove (@1); R-mango (@1) [3] Acorn [4] Multum in parvo [4]
2 Traffic lights, 4 beehives (@388) 3 Blocks and 2 blinkers (@201) Oak: Mango, 2 ponds, 5 loaves, 2 barges, 2 ships, 30 beehives, 3 ships, 8 boats, 34 blocks, 41 blinkers, 13 gliders (@5206) Block on beehive, pond, 6 loaves, toad, 28 beehives, 6 ships, 8 boats, 2 tubs, 40 blocks, 36 blinkers, 13 gliders (@3933)

Note that the minimum sizes of Acorn and Multum in parvo are the same size (7 bits), their censuses are the same size (633 bits), and both release 13 gliders, but they are totally unrelated in any other way.


6 eight-bit methuselahs

8-bit methuselahs

Die hard [5] Pike; Pi hept- omino and block [3] Gliders by the dozen, Gliders- omino (@-1) [3] J [3] Un- stabil- ized switch engine [4] Glider- mango collision (@-4); Glider- mango mess; Pi hept- omino and block (@3) [4]
Death (@118) Toad, 9 beehives, 2 boats, 7 blocks, 9 blinkers (@991) 4 Beehives, 4 blocks, 4 blinkers, 12 gliders (@184) Fleet, loaf, ship, 2 beehives, 2 boats, 8 blocks, blinker, 2 gliders (@556) 2 Ponds, 2 long boats, 11 loaves, 33 beehives, 4 ships, 11 boats, 2 tubs, 60 blocks, 50 blinkers, 12 gliders (@3911) Penta- decathlon, pond, 6 loaves, toad, 18 beehives, ship, 12 boats, tub, 30 blocks, 18 blinkers, 4 gliders (@2585)


2 nine-bit methuselahs

9-bit methuselah

Jaydot (@-1) [4] Bunnies; Rabbits (@1) [5]
1 Fleet, 1 pond, 13 loaves, 1 toad, 5 ships, 9 boats, 5 tubs, 68 blocks, 66 blinkers, 26 gliders (@6929) 3 Ponds, 18 loaves, 2 toads, 65 beehives, 7 ships, 18 boats, 4 tubs, 109 blocks, 136 blinkers, 40 gliders (@17332)


1 ten-bit methuselah

10b methuselah

Two- glider mess [2]
Ship, beehive, 4 blocks, 8 blinkers, 4 gliders (@530)



2 methuselahs whose censuses are period 1

still methuselahs

Handshake (@5); Lumps of muck (LOM) (@7) [2] Die hard [5]
Blockade (4 blocks) (@67) Death (@118)


8 methuselahs whose censuses are period 2

P2 methuselahs

Pi Heptomino (@2); Blasting cap (@2); House (@5) [2] Thompson's 6-bit methuselah [6] Century (@1); Bookend (@2); Hook (@2); Kidney (@2) [3] Thunder- bird (@1) [4] (2 glider) Octomino (@4) [2] Dove (@1); R-mango (@1) [3] Pike; Pi heptomino and block (@3) [3] Two-glider mess [2]
2 Ponds, 6 blocks, 5 blinkers (@175) Loaf, 6 blocks and 12 blinkers (@608) Blinker and 3 blocks (@103) 4 Beehives, 2 boats, 2 blinkers (@244) 2 Traffic lights and 4 beehives (@388) 3 Blocks and 2 blinkers (@201) Toad, 9 beehives, 2 boats, 7 blocks, 9 blinkers (@991) Ship, beehive, 4 blocks, 8 blinkers, 4 gliders (@530)

These all have a period of 2 because of blinkers (and also, in Pike, a toad).


11 methuselahs whose censuses are period 4

P4 methuselahs

R pent- omino (@2) [3] B Hept- omino (@1) [2] Block and glider; Wing (@2); R-loaf (@2) [3] Herschel parent; Herschel (@1) [3] Acorn [4] Multum in parvo [4]
Loaf, ship, 4 beehives, boat, 8 blocks, 4 blinkers, 6 gliders (@1105) Ship, 3 blocks, 2 gliders (@149) Block and glider (@106) Ship, 2 blocks, glider (@128) Oak: Mango, 2 ponds, 5 loaves, 2 barges, 2 ships, 30 beehives, 3 ships, 8 boats, 34 blocks, 41 blinkers, 13 gliders (@5206) Block on beehive, pond, 6 loaves, toad, 28 beehives, 6 ships, 8 boats, 2 tubs, 40 blocks, 36 blinkers, 13 gliders (@3933)
  Gliders by the dozen, Gliders- omino (@-1) [3] J (@6) [3] Un- stabil- ized switch engine [4] Jaydot (@-1) [4] Bunnies; Rabbits (@1) [5]
4 Beehives, 4 blocks, 4 blinkers, 12 gliders (@184) Fleet, loaf, ship, 2 beehives, 2 boats, 8 blocks, blinker, 2 gliders (@556) 2 Ponds, 2 long boats, 11 loaves, 33 beehives, 4 ships, 11 boats, 2 tubs, 60 blocks, 50 blinkers, 12 gliders (@3911) 1 Fleet, 1 pond, 13 loaves, 1 toad, 5 ships, 9 boats, 5 tubs, 68 blocks, 66 blinkers, 26 gliders (@6929) 3 Ponds, 18 loaves, 2 toads, 65 beehives, 7 ships, 18 boats, 4 tubs, 109 blocks, 136 blinkers, 40 gliders (@17332)

These all have a period of 4 because of gliders.

Note that the minimum sizes of Acorn and Multum in parvo are the same size (7 bits), their censuses are the same size (633 bits), and both release 13 gliders, but they are totally unrelated in any other way.


1 methuselah whose census is period 60

P60 methuselah

Glider- mango collision (@-4), Glider- mango mess, Pi heptomino and block (@3) [4]
Penta- decathlon, pond, 6 loaves, toad, 18 beehives, ship, 12 boats, tub, 30 blocks, 18 blinkers, 4 gliders (@2585)

This has a pseudo-period of 60, a composite of 4 and 15, because of gliders and a pentadecathlon.



The 5 methuselahs buildable from 2 gliders

2-glider methuselahs

Handshake (@5); Lumps of muck (LOM) (@7) [2] Pi Heptomino (@2); Blasting cap (@2); House (@5) [2] (2 glider) Octomino (@4) [2] Two-glider mess [2] B Heptomino (@1) [2]
Blockade (4 blocks) (@67) 2 Ponds, 6 blocks, 5 blinkers (@175) 2 Traffic lights and 4 beehives (@388) Ship, beehive, 4 blocks, 8 blinkers, 4 gliders (@530) Ship, 3 blocks, 2 gliders (@149)


8 methuselahs buildable from 3 gliders

3-glider methuselahs

Century (@1); Bookend (@2); Hook (@2); Kidney (@2) [3] Dove (@1); R-mango (@1) [3] Pike; Pi heptomino and block (@3) [3] R pentomino (@2) [3] Block and glider; Wing (@2); R-loaf (@2) [3] Herschel parent; Herschel (@1) [3] Gliders by the dozen, Gliders- omino (@-1) [3] J (@6) [3]
Blinker and 3 blocks (@103) 3 Blocks and 2 blinkers (@201) Toad, 9 beehives, 2 boats, 7 blocks, 9 blinkers (@991) Loaf, ship, 4 beehives, boat, 8 blocks, 4 blinkers, 6 gliders (@1105) Block and glider (@106) Ship, 2 blocks, glider (@128) 4 Beehives, 4 blocks, 4 blinkers, 12 gliders (@184) Fleet, loaf, ship, 2 beehives, 2 boats, 8 blocks, blinker, 2 gliders (@556)


6 methuselahs buildable from 4 gliders

4-glider methuselahs

Thunder- bird (@1) [4] Acorn [4] Multum in parvo [4] Un- stabil- ized switch engine [4] Jaydot (@-1) [4] Glider- mango collision (@-4), Glider- mango mess, Pi heptomino and block (@3) [4]
4 Beehives, 2 boats, 2 blinkers (@244) Oak: Mango, 2 ponds, 5 loaves, 2 barges, 2 ships, 30 beehives, 3 ships, 8 boats, 34 blocks, 41 blinkers, 13 gliders (@5206) Block on beehive, pond, 6 loaves, toad, 28 beehives, 6 ships, 8 boats, 2 tubs, 40 blocks, 36 blinkers, 13 gliders (@3933) 2 Ponds, 2 long boats, 11 loaves, 33 beehives, 4 ships, 11 boats, 2 tubs, 60 blocks, 50 blinkers, 12 gliders (@3911) 1 Fleet, 1 pond, 13 loaves, 1 toad, 5 ships, 9 boats, 5 tubs, 68 blocks, 66 blinkers, 26 gliders (@6929) Penta- decathlon, pond, 6 loaves, toad, 18 beehives, ship, 12 boats, tub, 30 blocks, 18 blinkers, 4 gliders (@2585)

Note that the minimum sizes of Acorn and Multum in parvo are the same size (7 bits), their censuses are the same size (633 bits), and both release 13 gliders, but they are totally unrelated in any other way.


2 methuselahs buildable from 5 gliders

5gl methuselahs

Die hard [5] Bunnies; Rabbits (@1) [5]
Death (@118) 3 Ponds, 18 loaves, 2 toads, 65 beehives, 7 ships, 18 boats, 4 tubs, 109 blocks, 136 blinkers, 40 gliders (@17332)


1 methuselah buildable from 6 gliders

6gl meth

Thompson's 6-bit methuselah [6]
Loaf, 6 blocks and 12 blinkers (@608)



Other types: still-lifes, pseudo-still-lifes, oscillators, pseudo-oscillators, oscillators by period, pseudo-oscillators by period, guns, multi-colored Life, basic spaceships and pseudo-spaceships, exotic spaceships, spaceships flotillae, puffers, constellations, methuselahs, not quite stable objects.

See also: Life objects sorted by: counts, frequency of occurrence, cost in gliders, name, size in bits, or type.

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Copyright © 1997, 1998, 1999, 2013, 2014 by Mark. D. Niemiec. All rights reserved.
This page was last updated on 2015-02-19.