Reverse fuse

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initial configuration of a reverse fuse

A reverse fuse is not so much the name of a fuse as a description of fuse behavior. Given that a wick is a stable one dimensional Life pattern and that a fuse and its burning refer to a progressive disruption of the wick, the expectation is that a growing cloud of debris will form as the wick progressively disintegrates. So, the reverse of this scenario would be that the combustion settles down into an orderly process.

Although the term refers to no particular fuse, a simple example will serve to illustrate the principle. Whereas a diagonal string of live cells constitutes a stable wick, a semiinfinite string burns by dropping the cell at the tip of its tail every generation. But a cluster of live cells surrounding the tail complicates the evolution; the simple variant of placing a domino at the tip is shown in the first figure.

equilibrium configuration of a reverse fuse

That fuse will burn for a while, leaving a residue behind. But eventually it will evolve into the form shown in the second figure; a pattern which reproduces itself in displaced form every fourth generation.

The raw diagonal fuse is a prolific source of variants, many of them reverse fuses.

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