p5760 unit Life cell

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p5760 unit Life cell
p5760 unit Life cell image
Pattern type Unit cell
Number of cells 4761
Bounding box 499×499
Cell size 500×500
Period 5760
Discovered by David Bell
Year of discovery 1996

The p5760 unit Life cell is the first unit Life cell that was explicitly constructed, and it was found in January 1996 by David Bell. It is a 500 × 500 square that takes 5760 generations to emulate the behavior of one Life cell.[1]

The existence this unit cell implies the existence of an infinite number of unit cells, of period 5760n and size 500n × 500n (here n = 1, of course). In practice, this cell is terribly slow, and would still be just an interesting curiosity even if it were fast.

The state is determined by the presence or absence of a glider at every multiple of 5760 generations, in a space in the upper left quadrant that is marked by two long boats. Long boats are also pointing at the corners of the pattern, to aid alignment with other unit cells.

Image gallery

The presence or absence of a glider at the green circle determines whether or not the unit Life cell is considered "dead" or "alive".


The ON unit cell evolving for 5760 generations into the OFF unit cell

See also


  1. Alan Hensel's lifep.zip pattern collection.

External links