This week's featured article

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 preblock in a number of different ways to produce either a blocklaying switch engine or a gliderproducing switch engine, giving several 11cell patterns with infinite growth. This record for smallest infinitelygrowing pattern stood for more than quarter of a century until Paul Callahan found, in November 1997, two 10cell 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:


Did you know...

 ... that a pattern exists in which no cell in the unbounded Life plane ever becomes periodic?
 ... that several candidate universal constructors have been demonstrated in Conway’s Life, but as of June 2015 none have been formally proven to be universal?
 ... that there are dozens of known Cordership variants, including puffers, rakes and wickstretchers, with periods of any multiple of 96?
 ... that greyships have been constructed with speeds of c/2, c/3, c/4, c/5 and 2c/5?
 ... that most greyships travel parallel to the stripes in their included agars, but a few travel perpendicular to the stripes, or "against the grain"?
 ... that a pattern has been constructed that calculates and prints out the digits of pi in decimal, and a similar one prints out the decimal digits of the Golden Ratio?
 ... that several different patterns have been constructed to calculate and display the sequence of prime numbers, and some have been adapted to display only prime pairs or Fermat primes?
 ... that two completely different types of knightships, the waterbear and the halfbaked knightship, were constructed in 2014?
 ... that no Caterpillartype spaceships were completed for almost ten years after the original Caterpillar was constructed in 2004, but that two different designs, the waterbear and the centipede, were finished in 2014?
 ... that the first spiralgrowth pattern in Conway's Life was constructed in 2014?

