Twin bees shuttle

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Twin bees shuttle
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Pattern type Oscillator
Oscillator type Shuttle
Number of cells 28
Bounding box 32×13
Frequency class 38.2
Period 46
Mod 46
Heat 32.5
Volatility 0.98
Strict volatility 0.94
Discovered by Bill Gosper
Year of discovery 1971

The twin bees shuttle (or B-heptomino shuttle[1]) was found by Bill Gosper in 1971.[2] Before the snark was discovered, it and its variants were the basis of all known period 46 oscillators (the version at right being the smallest based on its minimum population of 28 cells), and until the discovery of Tanner's p46, the basis of all known true period 46 guns including the second known basic gun, new gun 1. The simplest such gun is the bi-gun, in which two twin bees shuttles collide with each other head-on (much like the collision of two queen bees in the Gosper glider gun).

There are numerous ways to stabilize the ends, two of which are shown to the right; a stabilization by two blocks on one end and one block on the other end. This 3-block stabilization produces the smallest possible shuttle in terms of its minimum population. This latter method produces a very large spark which is useful in a number of ways. For example, the large spark can be used to convert an incoming glider into a lightweight spaceship, as illustrated by double X. The image below shows David Bell's double block reaction (on the left), which results in a shorter but wider shuttle than usual, as well as Heinrich Koenig's hat stabilization (on the right). The two-block shuttle, however, has a cheaper glider synthesis, costing only 7 gliders instead of 8.[3]

Interactions based on the twin bees shuttle are numerous and can have many applications. Some notable reactions are period 46 oscillators that can directly reflect gliders, lightweight spaceships, and middleweight spaceships, as well as convert gliders to lightweight spaceships and lightweight spaceships to middleweight spaceships.

The period-92 do-see-do reaction was found by David Bell in 1996.[4] It is a 90 degree glider reflection reaction in which the gliders appear to circle around each other.


On Catagolue, it is the most common period 46 oscillator, with all natural oscillators of that period featuring it in some form.[5]

Image gallery

Some alternate stabilizations of the twin bees shuttle
RLE: here
Several interactions involving the twin bees shuttle
Download RLE: click here
RLE: here

See also


  1. "B-heptomino shuttle". The Life Lexicon. Stephen Silver.
  2. Dean Hickerson's oscillator stamp collection.
  3. Adam P. Goucher. "cis-twin-bees-shuttle". Catagolue. Retrieved on May 24, 2019.
  4. "Do-see-do". The Life Lexicon. Stephen Silver.
  5. Adam P. Goucher. "Statistics". Catagolue. Retrieved on October 27, 2018.

External links

  • 32P46.1 at Heinrich Koenig's Game of Life Object Catalogs