# LifeWiki:Did you know archive

From LifeWiki

This page contains the various tidbits of information that appear on the LifeWiki main page in the "Did you know..." box.

## Did you know...

- ... that the largest interesting pattern constructed, the caterpillar, contains over 11 million cells?
- ... that the Gosper glider gun was the first pattern to be discovered that exhibits infinite growth?
- ... that the block-laying switch engine and the glider-producing switch engine (and various combinations of two switch engines) are the only two infinitely-growing patterns that are known to have ever occurred naturally from a nonsymmetric random starting configuration?
- ... that oscillators are known that oscillate at all periods other than 19, 23, 34, 38 and 41?
- ... that the pentadecathlon and the blinker are the only known oscillators that are polyominos in more than one phase?
- ... that it is impossible for a period 3 oscillator to be a phoenix?
- ... that the methuselah with the longest known lifespan, 40514M, lasts for over 40,000 generations before stabilizing? The second-place holder, Fred, runs for over 35,000 ticks.
- ... that replicators with quadratic population growth are known to exist in Conway's Game of Life, but none have yet been found?
- ... that the first known period 37 and 51 oscillators were found in 2009?
- ... that a pattern whose population grows without bound but does not tend to infinity is known as a sawtooth?
- ... that there are over 6.5 million distinct strict still lifes with 24 or fewer cells?
- ... that some infinitely-growing patterns can be constructed with as few as three gliders?
- ... that quadratically-growing patterns have been found with as few as 23 initial cells?
- ... that the blinker is the only known oscillator that is one cell thick?
- ... that the first spaceship found in Conway's Game of Life that travels in an oblique direction was discovered in 2010?
- ... that there are still lifes that can be split into four stable islands, but not two or three?
- ... that no new spaceships were discovered after 1970 until 1989?
- ... 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 twenty-two spaceship velocities have been constructed, including four infinitely adjustable families of ships?
- ... that there are 71 distinct ways for two gliders to collide, but it is unknown how many distinct 3-glider collisions there are?
- ... that to display the smallest known gun pattern for a Gemini spaceship at 1 cell = 1 pixel, on a standard-density video monitor, a screen over one mile square would be needed?
- ... that no odd-period glider guns were known before 1995, when a period 565 p5-spark-assisted B-heptomino 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 oscillator-supported conduits are included?
- ... that Demonoids, caterloopillars and half-bakery knightships are the only known types of spaceships with fixed slope but adjustable speed?
- ... that a pattern exists in which no cell in the unbounded Life plane ever becomes periodic?
- ... that several candidate universal constructors have been demonstrated in Conway’s Life, but as of June 2015 none have been formally proven to be universal?
- ... that there are dozens of known Cordership variants, including puffers, rakes and wickstretchers, with periods of any multiple of 96?
- ... that greyships have been constructed with speeds of c/2, c/3, c/4, c/5 and 2c/5?
- ... that most greyships travel parallel to the stripes in their included agars, but a few travel perpendicular to the stripes, or "against the grain"?
- ... that a pattern has been constructed that calculates and prints out the digits of pi in decimal, and a similar one prints out the decimal digits of the Golden Ratio?
- ... that several different patterns have been constructed to calculate and display the sequence of prime numbers, and some have been adapted to display only prime pairs or Fermat primes?
- ... that two completely different types of knightships, the waterbear and the half-baked knightship, were constructed in 2014?
- ... that no Caterpillar-type spaceships were completed for almost ten years after the original Caterpillar was constructed in 2004, but that two different designs, the waterbear and the centipede, were finished in 2014?
- ... that the first spiral-growth pattern in Conway's Life was constructed in 2014?
- ... that among known glider recipes for irreducible objects, the Gemini spaceship has the largest known minimal recipe, currently 175,167 gliders -- the runner-up being the Parallel HBK with a 38,380-glider synthesis?
- ... 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, half-X66 with HWSS, Pushalong 1, 25P3H1V0.2, 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 November 2016 there are 161 different still lifes known to be constructible by colliding four gliders, but it is not known if the list is complete?
- ... that in 2014 a new natural infinite growth pattern was discovered, starting from a symmetric random starting configuration?
- ... that the first self-constructing Conway's Life pattern was built in 2010?
- ... that the first glider synthesis for a c/3 spaceship was completed in 2014?
- ... that the first "macro-spaceship" gun (a Gemini spaceship gun) was constructed in 2010, followed by the HBK gun in January 2015 and a Demonoid gun in December 2015?
- ... that the waterbear is the single known high-speed oblique spaceship, many orders of magnitude faster than Gemini spaceships and half-baked knightships?
- ... that there are no known direct reflectors for lightspeed wire signals, or for signals in 2c/3 wires, but that very large reflectors for these signals can be constructed using stable or periodic circuitry?
- ... that 24 ten-cell patterns exhibit infinite growth, with 17 unique pattern types, but that it has been proven that no nine-cell pattern exhibits infinite growth?
- ... that all still lifes up to 18 bits have a known glider synthesis, but it's still not known whether all still lifes are synthesizable.
- ... that the French kiss remained without a glider synthesis until 2013?
- ... that Adam P. Goucher's distributed Catagolue soup-search project, started in February 2015, has already tested more random soups than any previous such project, and has contributed to the reduction of many glider construction recipes?
- ... that any glider-constructible Life pattern can be constructed with a fixed maximum number of gliders N, probably less than 1000? It's 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 2.4 times larger than the number of N-bit still lifes?
- ... that the odds of a randomly-chosen 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?
- ... that absolutely no elementary knightships have been discovered as of 2016, though there has been at least one very close call?
- ... 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 very small knightships have been found at all in B3/S23, 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?
- ... that no pattern inside a 6x6 bounding box is a Garden of Eden?
- ... that Garden of Eden patterns with only 45 ON cells have been found?
- ... that it is known that no Garden of Eden patterns exist that are 1, 2, or 3 cells high, but that it is currently an open question whether a 4-cell-high GoE can be constructed?
- ... that 6-cell-high Garden of Eden patterns were constructed as far back as 1973, but 5-cell-high GoEs were unknown until Steven Eker found some in 2016?
- ... that in 2016, patterns were found that have great-great-grandparents but no great-great-great-grandparents?
- ... that no way is known for a 3x3 pattern to be tiled into an MxN rectangle to produce a Garden of Eden, but that there are 4x3, 4x4 and larger tiles that can be repeated in this way to produce GoEs?
- ... that there are spaceship stabilizations of agars?
- ...that there are 9,971,377 strict still lifes with population 25?
- ...that there are 24,619,307 strict still lifes with population 26?
- ...that there are 60,823,008 strict still lifes with population 27?
- ...that there are 150,613,157 strict still lifes with population 28?
- ...that there are 373,188,952 strict still lifes with population 29?
- ...that there are 926,068,847 strict still lifes with population 30?
- ... that an N-bit strict still life can be constructed for any odd integer N using no more than 39 gliders, and for any even integer N using no more than 38 gliders, using a temporary tubstretcher?
- ... that an N-bit period-2 oscillator can be constructed for any odd integer N using no more than 45 gliders, and for any even integer N using no more than 46 gliders, using a temporary tubstretcher?
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