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the wiki for Conway's Game of Life.
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This week's featured article

10cellinfinitegrowth.png
A finite pattern is said to exhibit infinite growth if it is such that its population is unbounded. That is, for any number N there exists a generation n such that the population in generation n is greater than N. The first known pattern to exhibit infinite growth was the Gosper glider gun. In 1971, Charles Corderman found that a switch engine could be stabilized by a pre-block in a number of different ways to produce either a block-laying switch engine or a glider-producing switch engine, giving several 11-cell patterns with infinite growth. This record for smallest infinitely-growing pattern stood for more than quarter of a century until Paul Callahan found, in November 1997, two 10-cell patterns with infinite growth. Nick Gotts and Paul Callahan have since shown that there is no infinite growth pattern with fewer than 10 cells, so the question of the smallest infinite growth pattern in terms of number of cells has been answered completely.

Pattern collection

The LifeWiki contains one of the most comprehensive catalogues of patterns available on the internet. Within it you will find:
Download.gif Download pattern collection
1.92 MB .zip archive containing the 1500+ RLE pattern files used on the wiki

Did you know...

  • ... that 24 ten-cell patterns exhibit infinite growth, with 17 unique pattern types, but that it has been proven that no nine-cell pattern exhibits infinite growth?
  • ... that all still lifes up to 18 bits have a known glider synthesis, but it is still not known whether all still lifes are synthesizable?
  • ... that the French kiss remained without a glider synthesis until 2013?
  • ... that Adam P. Goucher's distributed Catagolue soup-search project, started in February 2015, has already tested more random soups than any previous such project, and has contributed to the reduction of many glider construction recipes?
  • ... that any glider-constructible Life pattern can be constructed with a fixed maximum number of gliders N, probably less than 1000? It is only necessary to construct a sliding-block decoder, which self-destructs after converting the position of a far-distant block into a slow-salvo recipe that constructs the required pattern.
  • ... that Copperhead is not only the first c/10 orthogonal spaceship ever found, but also remarkably compact for a pattern not discovered until 2016?
  • ... that loafer is the fifth smallest non-flotilla spaceship, but was discovered 43 years after the four spaceships smaller than it?
  • ... that despite being the fourth smallest non-flotilla orthogonal spaceship, loafer has never appeared from a single randomly generated soup?
  • ... that all known glider eaters take at least four ticks to recover to their original state after eating a glider?
  • ... that the smallest 31c/240 spaceship does not make use of the 31c/240 reaction?          
Showing 10 items out of 91 More did you know...