This week's featured article
| A polyomino (or simply omino) is a finite collection of orthogonally connected cells. Conway's early investigations of Life and other cellular automata involved tracking the histories of small polyominoes, this being a reasonable way to ascertain the typical behaviour of different cellular automata when the patterns had to be evolved by hand rather than by computer. Polyominoes have no special significance in Life, but their extensive study during the early years lead to a number of important discoveries and has influenced the terminology of Life.
It is possible for a polyomino to be an oscillator. In fact, there are infinitely many examples of such polyominoes, including the cross and its larger analogues. The only other known examples are the block (which has period 1), the blinker, the toad, the star and (in two different phases) the pentadecathlon.
A polyomino can also be a spaceship, though the only known examples are the lightweight spaceship, the middleweight spaceship, and the heavyweight spaceship.
| 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 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?