This week's featured article

A Garden of Eden is a pattern that has no parents and thus can only occur in generation 0. The term was first used in connection with cellular automata by John W. Tukey, many years before Conway's Game of Life was conceived. It was known from the start that Gardens of Eden exist in Life because of a theorem by Edward Moore that guarantees their existence in a wide class of cellular automata. The first Garden of Eden was found by Roger Banks and the MIT group in 1971. It had a bounding box of size 33 × 9 and 226 cells. Jean HardouinDuparc found the second and third Gardens of Eden by computer search in 1973, which had bounding boxes of size 122 × 6 and 117 × 6. His goal was to find Gardens of Eden with minimal height. In April 2016, Steven Eker found a Garden of Eden fitting inside a 5 x 83 bounding box. It is known that no Gardens of Eden exist with height less than 4, but the question is still open for the h=4 case.

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 the first stable reflector was found in October 1996, and the first fast stable reflector appeared in 2013, allowing the construction of oscillators of all periods ≥43 ticks?
 ... that twentyfour spaceship velocities have been constructed, including five infinitely adjustable families of ships?
 ... that there are 71 distinct ways for two gliders to collide, but it is unknown how many distinct 3glider collisions there are?
 ... that to display the smallest known gun pattern for a Gemini spaceship at 1 cell = 1 pixel, on a standarddensity video monitor, a screen over one mile square would be needed?
 ... that no oddperiod glider guns were known before 1995, when a period 565 p5sparkassisted Bheptomino loop was constructed by David Buckingham?
 ... that even though the speed limit for spaceships is c/2 in a vacuum, in a medium of stripes agar there are "spaceships" that can travel at lightspeed along the stripes, or two thirds of lightspeed perpendicular to the stripes?
 ... that the smallest known spacefiller pattern consists of 187 cells?
 ... that the smallest known sawtooth pattern in Conway's Life consists of only 177 ON cells?
 ... that there are now over a hundred and twenty known Herschel conduits, counting stable conduits only, and a much larger number if oscillatorsupported conduits are included?
 ... that Demonoids, caterloopillars, orthogonoids and halfbakery knightships are the only known types of spaceships with fixed slope but adjustable speed?

