A drifter is a perturbation moving within a stable pattern.
Dean Hickerson has written a program to search for drifters, with the hope of finding one which could be moved around a track. Because drifters can be very small, they could be packed more tightly than Herschels, and so allow the creation of oscillators of periods not yet attained, and possibly prove that Life is omniperiodic. Hickerson has found a number of components towards this end, but it has proved difficult to change the direction of movement of a drifter, and so far no complete track has been found. However, Hickerson has had success using the same search program to find eaters with novel properties, such as that used in diuresis.
- Re: New p17 and other billiard tables (discussion thread) at the ConwayLife.com forums (download link)
- A small modification of dr (discussion thread) at the ConwayLife.com forums (Matthias Merzenich's modified version)