This week's featured article

A Garden of Eden is a pattern that has no parents and thus can only occur in generation 0. The term was first used in connection with cellular automata by John W. Tukey, many years before Conway's Game of Life was conceived. It was known from the start that Gardens of Eden exist in Life because of a theorem by Edward Moore that guarantees their existence in a wide class of cellular automata. The first Garden of Eden was found by Roger Banks and the MIT group in 1971. It had a bounding box of size 33 × 9 and 226 cells. Jean HardouinDuparc found the second and third Gardens of Eden by computer search in 1973, which had bounding boxes of size 122 × 6 and 117 × 6. His goal was to find Gardens of Eden with minimal height, and it is believed that no Gardens of Eden exist with height less than 5.

Pattern collection

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 blocklaying switch engine and the gliderproducing switch engine are the only two infinitelygrowing patterns that are known to have ever occurred naturally from a 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 secondplace 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 infinitelygrowing patterns can be constructed with as few as five gliders?

