This week's featured article
| HighLife is a Life-like cellular automaton in which cells survive from one generation to the next if they have 2 or 3 neighbours, and are born if they have 3 or 6 neighbours; that is, it has rulestring "B36/S23". It was named by John Conway and was first considered in 1994 by Nathan Thompson. It is mainly of interest due to a simple replicator that it allows.
Because its rulestring is so similar to that of Conway's Game of Life, many simple patterns exhibit the same behavior in both rules; it's only when patterns get complex that their behavior differs. Nonetheless, it exhibits such rich structure that Conway himself stated
"It seems to me that 'B36/S23' is really the game I should have found, since it's so rich in nice things."
All of the most common still lifes, oscillators and spaceships from the standard Life rules behave the exact same under the HighLife rules, including the block, beehive, blinker, glider, lightweight spaceship, middleweight spaceship, and heavyweight spaceship. On the other hand, even though traffic lights and honey farms themselves behave the same in both rules, they do not occur naturally in HighLife with any sort of regularity due to their common predecessors being unstable.
| The LifeWiki contains one of the most comprehensive catalogues of patterns available on the internet. Within it you will find:
Did you know...
- ... that any glider-constructible Life pattern can be constructed with a fixed maximum number of gliders N, probably less than 1000? It is only necessary to construct a sliding-block decoder, which self-destructs after converting the position of a far-distant block into a slow-salvo recipe that constructs the required pattern.
- ... that Copperhead is not only the first c/10 orthogonal spaceship ever found, but also remarkably compact for a pattern not discovered until 2016?
- ... that loafer is the fifth smallest non-flotilla spaceship, but was discovered 43 years after the four spaceships smaller than it?
- ... that despite being the fourth smallest non-flotilla orthogonal spaceship, loafer has never appeared from a single randomly generated soup?
- ... that all known glider eaters take at least four ticks to recover to their original state after eating a glider?
- ... 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 15 cells can be synthesized at a cost of less than one glider per cell?