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 it was shown in 2014 that any salvo of gliders, no matter how tightly packed, can be constructed by crashing together gliders whose initial positions are farther apart than any chosen finite distance?
 ... that no spaceships with velocities other than c/4 diagonal (glider), c/2 orthogonal (*WSS variants), and c/12 diagonal (Corderships) had known glider syntheses until 2003, when a 2c/5 spaceship gun was constructed?
 ... that after ten years with no new small spaceship syntheses, a glider construction was found for the c/7 loafer in 2013?
 ... that glider constructions for three previously inconstructible spaceships (the dart, the crab, and the Parallel HBK) were discovered in 2014?
 ... that glider constructions for the B29, X66, halfX66 with HWSS, Pushalong 1, 25P3H1V0.1, 30P5H2V0, 30P4H2V0.4, a pufferfish spaceship, and the weekender were discovered in 2015 — after fifteen years of intermittent efforts in the case of the weekender?
 ... that since 2014, more new spaceship syntheses have been completed than were found in all the years between 1970 and 2013?
 ... that as of 15 August 2017 there are 223 different still lifes known to be constructible by colliding four gliders, but it is likely that this list is not complete?
 ... that in 2014 a new natural infinite growth pattern was discovered, starting from a symmetric random starting configuration?
 ... that the first selfconstructing Conway's Life pattern was built in 2010?
 ... that the first glider synthesis for a c/3 spaceship was completed in 2014?

