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 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?