Life Period-3 Oscillators

Size in bits: 12 | 13 | 14 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | Larger
Cost in gliders: 3 | 6 | 1 glider/bit | >1 glider/bit | unknown
Frequency of occurrence | Not quite oscillators



The 1 twelve-bit period 3 oscillator

12b P3

Caterer [11]

The Caterer is the smallest oscillator that produces a period 3 finger spark.


The 1 thirteen-bit period 3 oscillator

13b P3

Jam [7]

Jam is the cheapest oscillator that produces a period 3 finger spark. It is one bit larger than the caterer, but much cheaper and easier to synthesize. Also, jam forms on most still-lifes that have a bonding surface like the long diagonal side of a loaf (from which its name was inspired), so it forms the basis for many larger period 3 oscillators (and many with periods that are multiples of 3, such as period 6).


The 1 fourteen-bit period 3 oscillator

14b P3

Two eaters; Eater eating eater [8]


The 7 sixteen-bit period 3 oscillators

16-bit period 3 oscillators

Block on down candel- frobra [12] Block on up candel- frobra [9] Short Keys [6] Odd Keys [20] Bent Keys [10] Trice tongs [14] Eater eating integral [10]


The 8 seventeen-bit period 3 oscillators

17-bit period 3 oscillators

Up boat on down candel- frobra; Cis- boat and long hook eating tub [11] Down boat on down candel- frobra [13] Up boat on up candel- frobra [10] Down boat on up candel- frobra [8] Short key and skewed pole [33] Bent key and skewed pole [28] Eater eating integral w/ hook [9] Eater eating integral w/ tub [10]


The 39 eighteen-bit period 3 oscillators

18-bit period 3 oscillators

Up table on up candel- frobra [12] Up ship on down candel- frobra [12] Beehive on down candel- frobra; Beehive and long hook eating tub [12] Up cis carrier on up candel- frobra [14] Up ship on up candel- frobra [10] Down ship on down candel- frobra [13] Up cis carrier on down candel- frobra [16] Down snake on up candel- frobra [16] Up snake on down candel- frobra [15] Up trans carrier on down candel- frobra [16]
Up trans carrier on up candel- frobra [14] Up snake on up candel- frobra [13] Down trans carrier on down candel- frobra [16] Down snake on up candel- frobra [13] Down table on down candel- frobra [14] Beehive on up candel- frobra [7] Down cis carrier on down candel- frobra [16] Down ship on up candel- frobra [10] Down trans carrier on up candel- frobra [14] Cis skewed poles [8]
Block on cuphook w/ pre- block [12] Carrier bridge candel- frobra [13] Down table on up candel- frobra [10] Down cis carrier on up candel- frobra [14] Pulsar quad- rant [12] Block on down cuphook w/ tail; Cuphook [7] Block on up cuphook w/ tail; M.I.T. Oscillator [8] Eater eating eater w/ feather [11] Two pulsar quad- rants; Pulsar 18-22-20 [17] French kiss; Eaters plus [23]
Eater eating eater w/ siamese carrier [12] Eater eating eater w/ siamese snake [12] Eater eating integral w/ tail [11] Eater eating integral w/ long hook [13] Eater eating integral w/ down boat [11] Eater eating gull [10] Integral eating integral [8] Eater eating integral w/ up boat [12] Trans skewed poles [x]  


The 66 nineteen-bit period 3 oscillators

19-bit period 3 oscillators


The 216 twenty-bit period 3 oscillators

Due to space limitations, these and their syntheses are shown on a separate page.


The 420 21-bit period 3 oscillators

Due to space limitations, these and their syntheses are shown on a separate page.


5 22-bit period 3 oscillators

22-bit period 3 oscillators

Two candel- frobras [24] Belu- chenko's P3 w/ loaf and integral [21] Biting off more than they can chew; Eater- bound pond [13] Belu- chenko's P3 w/ tail and integral [24] Integral w/ down boat eating integral w/ down boat [12] Integral w/ up boat eating integral w/ up boat [12]


0 23-bit period 3 oscillator

23-bit P3

Belu- chenko's P3 w/ super- mango and integral [32]


2 24-bit period 3 oscillators

24-bit P3

Ls on table tie table on ship [13] Star [20]


2 25-bit period 3 oscillators

25-bit P3

Cuphook w/ integral w/ tail [24] Ls on table tie table on loaf [15]


15 period 3 oscillators 26 bits and larger

larger period 3 oscillators

Ls on table tie table on pond [17] Ls on table tie long bookend on loaf [22] Cross [16] Mini pressure cooker [27] Quasar; Super pulsar [32]
Ls on long bookend tie long bookend on loaf [25] Hustler [55-83] Two eater- bound ponds [19] Pressure cooker; Snake on pressure cooker [120]
Snake dance [6] Two bookends on pressure cooker [52] Diamond ring [28] Pulsar; Pulsar CP 48-54-72 [3] 48-bit period 3 oscillator #1 [21] Three eater- bound ponds [28]

The Pulsar consists of four inducting Traffic light predecessors. Its predecessors are used in many other oscillators (as described under Traffic light). Pulsars are also infinitely extensible, by arranging multiple quadrants in a closed loop. The Pulsar, consisting of four quadrants, is the smallest such arrangement. The Quasar, consisting of twelve quadrants, is the next largest.



The 1 period 3 oscillator buildable from 3 gliders

3g P3

Pulsar; Pulsar CP 48-54-72 [3]

The Pulsar consists of four inducting Traffic light predecessors. Its predecessors are used in many other oscillators (as described under Traffic light). Pulsars are also infinitely extensible, by arranging multiple quadrants in a closed loop. The Pulsar, consisting of four quadrants, is the smallest such arrangement. The Quasar, consisting of twelve quadrants, is the next largest.


2 period 3 oscillators buildable from 6 gliders

6-glider P3s

Short Keys [6] Snake dance [6]


The 3 period 3 oscillators up to 20 bits costing 1 glider/bit

1 glider/bit P3

Up hook w/ tail above up candel- frobra [20] Candel- frobra siamese long integral [20] Belu- chenko's Eater eating thing w/ loaf [20]


The 27 period 3 oscillators up to 20 bits costing >1 glider/bit

gt. 1 glider/bit P3 oscillators

Odd keys [20] Short key and skewed pole [x] Bent key and skewed pole [x] French kiss [23] Pre- block on candel- frobra siamese beehive [20] Trice tongs siamese loaf [28]  
Bent key and short key w/ up tail [24] 20-bit P3 #1 [28] Short key and bent key w/ down tail [24] Short key and bent key w/ up tail [24] Cis snake below cuphook w/ pre- block [74] Two back-to- back cuphooks w/ pre- blocks [24] Trice tongs w/ cape [23]
Block on cuphook w/ pre- block and tail [27] Bent key and short key w/ down tail [24] Stillator [78] Trice tongs siamese pond [21] Pre- block on candel- frobra siamese loaf [23] Cover on candel- frobra [21] Staff on candel- frobra [26]
Pre- block on candel- frobra w/ feather [26] Block on snake siamese candel- frobra [21] Tub on candel- frobra siamese snake [29] Tub on candel- frobra siamese carrier [25] French kiss w/ curl [25] French kiss w/ integral [25] Belu- chenko's Eater eating thing w/ tail [28]


The 12 period 3 oscillators up to 21 bits without any known syntheses

unknown period 3 oscillators

Up weird thing below hook w/ tail [x] Down weird thing below hook w/ tail [x] Caterer w/ skewed pole [x] Up weird thing below down boat w/ tail [x] Dual caterer [x] Candel- frobra and caterer w/ tail [x] Down weird thing below down boat w/ tail [x]
Trans skewed poles [x] Bowed caterer [x] Fire spitting [x] Fire spitting w/ head [x+3] Caterer w/ table on pre-block [x]  



The top 7 naturally-occurring period 3 oscillators

natural period 3 oscillators

Pulsar; Pulsar CP 48-54-72 [3] (19584) Jam [7] (4.0e8) Block on up candel- frobra; Trans- block and long hook eating tub [9] (1.7e10) Caterer [11] (1.3e10) Block on down candel- frobra; Cis- block and long hook eating tub [12] (1.0e10) Up boat on down candel- frobra; Cis- boat and long hook eating tub [13] (2.5e10) Beehive on down candel- frobra; Beehive and long hook eating tub [12] (2.5e10)

The Caterer is the smallest oscillator that produces a period 3 finger spark.

Jam is the cheapest oscillator that produces a period 3 finger spark. It is one bit larger than the caterer, but much cheaper and easier to synthesize. Also, jam forms on most still-lifes that have a bonding surface like the long diagonal side of a loaf (from which its name was inspired), so it forms the basis for many larger period 3 oscillators (and many with periods that are multiples of 3, such as period 6).

The Pulsar consists of four inducting Traffic light predecessors. Its predecessors are used in many other oscillators (as described under Traffic light). Pulsars are also infinitely extensible, by arranging multiple quadrants in a closed loop. The Pulsar, consisting of four quadrants, is the smallest such arrangement. The Quasar, consisting of twelve quadrants, is the next largest.



2 Not quite period 3 oscillators

not quite P3

Skewed pulsar [4] Doubly skewed pulsar [8]

The skewed pulsar is not totally useless, as it can sometimes be used when two short-lived pulsar-halves are needed. Two examples of their use are in syntheses of Skewed eureka, and Skewed jack.



Related: period-3 pseudo-oscillators.

Other oscillators by period: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 24, 30, 36, 60, other.

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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This page was last updated on 2015-02-19.