This week's featured article
A sawtooth is a finite pattern whose population grows without bound but does not tend to infinity. In other words, it is a pattern with population that reaches new heights infinitely often, but also infinitely often drops below some fixed value. Their name comes from the fact that their plot of population versus generation number looks roughly like an ever-increasing sawtooth graph.
The first sawtooth was constructed by Dean Hickerson in April 1991 by using a loaf tractor beam (a technique that was also used in the construction of sawtooth 633). The least infinitely repeating population of any known sawtooth is 177, attained by Sawtooth 177; the smallest bounding box of any known sawtooth is 62x56, attained by a variant of the same pattern, Sawtooth 195
| 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 smallest 31c/240 spaceship does not make use of the 31c/240 reaction?
- ... that there is roughly one chance in 10^(N/3) that a still life appearing out of random soup will have a population of exactly N cells?
- ... that the number of still lifes with N+1 bits is roughly 2.48 times larger than the number of N-bit still lifes?
- ... that the odds of a randomly-chosen 20x20 soup pattern being a methuselah that lasts between 1000N and 1000(N+1) ticks, is roughly the same as the odds that it will last any amount of time longer than 1000x(N+1) ticks?
- ... that all still lifes up to 16 cells can be synthesized at a cost of less than one glider per cell?
- ... that the first elementary knightship, Sir Robin, was discovered only in 2018, with there having been a very close call in 2004?
- ... that there is a 6x2 counterexample to the Coolout Conjecture, proving that patterns that are internally compatible with stability can not always be made part of a larger still life, no matter what cells are added around the edges?
- ... that a Conway's Life pattern representing a complete programmable 8-bit computer, consisting only of buckaroos, p60 glider guns, and glider duplicators, was completed in November 2016?
- ... that whilst no elementary oblique spaceships were found in B3/S23 until 2018, and none have occurred naturally, at least two naturally occurring reactions have been discovered in B38/S23 that travel in an oblique direction?
- ... that not all 1.00 volatility oscillators are phoenixes, but volatility 1.00 period 2 oscillators must be phoenixes?