This week's featured article
Caterloopillar is the name given to a family of spaceships containing two major parts - the front and the back. In Caterloopillar each part has the properties of a universal constructor, and thus each part is constructing the building blocks of the other part, while also reading and moving a construction tape. As the name suggests, this creates somewhat paradoxical design, similar to the "strange loop" concept.
The basic Caterloopillar design can be trivially adapted to produce spaceships with an infinite number of different speeds -- in theory, any rational speed strictly less than c/4.
The Caterloopillar was voted the Pattern of the Year 2016 on ConwayLife.com.
| The LifeWiki contains one of the most comprehensive catalogues of patterns available on the internet. Within it you will find:
Did you know...
- ... that the largest interesting pattern constructed, the caterpillar, contains over 11 million cells?
- ... that the Gosper glider gun was the first pattern to be discovered that exhibits infinite growth?
- ... that the block-laying switch engine and the glider-producing switch engine (and various combinations of two switch engines) are the only infinitely-growing patterns that are known to have ever occurred naturally from an asymmetric random starting configuration?
- ... that oscillators are known that oscillate at all periods other than 19, 23, 34, 38 and 41?
- ... that the pentadecathlon and the blinker are the only known oscillators that are polyominos in more than one phase?
- ... that it is impossible for a period 3 oscillator to be a phoenix?
- ... that the methuselah with the longest known lifespan, 40514M, lasts for over 40,000 generations before stabilizing? The second-place holder, Fred, runs for over 35,000 ticks.
- ... that replicators with quadratic population growth are known to exist in Conway's Game of Life, but none have yet been found?
- ... that the first known period 37 and 51 oscillators were found in 2009?
- ... that a pattern whose population grows without bound but does not tend to infinity is known as a sawtooth?