This week's featured article
| A methuselah is, roughly speaking, a pattern that takes a large number of generations in order to stabilize (known as its lifespan) and becomes much larger than its initial configuration at some point during its evolution. In particular, patterns that grow forever are not methuselahs. Their exact definition is not completely agreed upon, and most definitions place restrictions on the number of cells in the initial pattern.
Martin Gardner defined methuselahs as patterns of fewer than ten cells that take longer than 50 generations to stabilize, though some sources allow for more cells or require a longer lifespan.
| The LifeWiki contains one of the most comprehensive catalogues of patterns available on the internet. Within it you will find:
Did you know...
- ... 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, orthogonoids 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?