This week's featured article
| An eater is any still life that has the ability to interact with certain patterns without suffering any permanent damage. The term may also sometimes specifically refer to eater 1, a very common and well-known eater. The block was the first known eater, being found to be capable of eating beehives from a queen bee, allowing the construction of the queen bee shuttle. The animation to the right shows an eater 5 feasting on an incoming stream of gliders.
Eaters are extremely important, as they help stabilize and control debris created by complex reactions, allowing for the manipulation of the useful parts of those reactions. Stable reflectors in particular heavily rely on a variety of eaters to work.
| The LifeWiki contains one of the most comprehensive catalogues of patterns available on the internet. Within it you will find:
Did you know...
- ...that eighteen spaceship velocities have been constructed, including two 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 181 ON cells?
- ... that there are now over fifty known Herschel conduits, counting stable conduits only, and more than twice that number if oscillator-supported conduits are included?
- ... that as of June 2015, because diagonal Geminoids are still theoretical, half-bakery knightships are the only known spaceships with fixed slope but adjustable speed?
- ... that a pattern exists in which no cell in the unbounded Life plane ever becomes periodic?