Not Quite Stable Objects

Still-lifes | Pseudo-still-lifes | P2 oscillator | P3 oscillator | P30 oscillators | Spaceships | Guns


In the process of developing technology to synthesize still-lifes or other objects, occasionally syntheses are found for objects that appear deceptively similar to still-lifes, pseudo-still-lifes, oscillators, spaceships, etc., but that are not, in fact, stable. Many such mechanisms can be rescued by appropriate addition of supporting sparks or other mechanisms. A large number of syntheses of exotic objects are, in fact, obtained in exactly this manner.

However, there are many such mechanisms that are essentially useless, like the ones shown. These are included here solely for your amusement.

5 Not quite still-lifes

not quite still

Short cis shillelagh [5] Beehive w/ long tail [8] Shil- lelagh head bridge boat [5] Block on extra long bookend [14] Up long table on shillelagh [6]

4 Not quite pseudo-still-lifes

not quite pseudo-still-lifes

Block before shil- lelagh [3] Two front- to- front shil- lelaghs [6] Up cis snake on long cis shil- lelagh [8] Down boat on ship bridge fuse w/ tail [5]

1 Not quite period 2 oscillator

bad P2

Eater tie beacon [11]

2 Not quite period 3 oscillators

not quite P3

Skewed pulsar [4] Doubly skewed pulsar [8]

The skewed pulsar is not totally useless, as it can sometimes be used when two short-lived pulsar-halves are needed. Two examples of their use are in syntheses of Skewed eureka, and Skewed jack.

2 Not quite period 30 oscillators

not quite P30

Two Queen bee shuttles #1 [4] Two Queen bee shuttles #2 [4]

5 Not quite spaceships

not quite spaceships

Two gliders [4] Mike Playle's 3c/7 almost- spaceship [x] Paul Tooke's 3c/7 almost- spaceship [x]
Ten- bit- long space- ship (10WSS) [6]
Eugene Lang- vagen's P6 almost- knight- ship [x]

Because Eugene Langvagen's knight-ship doesn't quite work, and can't be made to work per se, it fits into this category of "useless objects". However, its discovery is extremely significant, because the very existence of an object this close to working (i.e. it reforms 97% correctly) suggests that other moderately small, working knight-ships are fairly likely to exist in Life.

The same comments also apply to the 3c/7 almost-spaceships. While no working spaceships of this velocity have yet been found, these results strongly suggest that such spaceships are likely to exist.

2 Not quite guns

not quite guns

P30 almost glider gun [8] P30 suicidal gun [8]

There are three interactions between two queen bee shuttles that produce natural gliders. One of them produces a glider that successfully escapes, yielding a period-30 Glider gun. The other two produces gliders that don't quite make it.

The left example above one creates a glider that almost escapes, but hits the right shuttle at the last moment; if it were advanced only 2 more generations, it would have escaped. This can be rescued and turned into a period 30 oscillator by eating the glider before the right shuttle returns. It can also be turned into a successful gun by using a Buckaroo to reflect the glider 90 degrees before it hits the shuttle.

The right example shoots a glider directly into the right shuttle, effectively shooting itself in the head, while other debris destroys the left shuttle.

Other types: still-lifes, pseudo-still-lifes, oscillators, pseudo-oscillators, oscillators by period, pseudo-oscillators by period, guns, multi-colored Life, basic spaceships and pseudo-spaceships, exotic spaceships, spaceships flotillae, puffers, constellations, methuselahs, not quite stable objects.

See also: Life objects sorted by: counts, frequency of occurrence, cost in gliders, name, size in bits, or type.

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Copyright © 1997, 1998, 1999, 2013, 2014 by Mark. D. Niemiec. All rights reserved.
This page was last updated on 2015-02-19.