# Life Oscillators

## The 3 six-bitoscillators

Clocks have thumbs that can sometimes be used to suppress diagonal bit-sparks, allowing clocks to be used as rocks to stabilize some larger oscillators.

Toads have no stable surfaces, but one side vacillates between one and two bits, making it possible to form pseudo-objects with other toads or similar oscillators, or with even-period oscillators that create domino sparks, like the Figure-8.

Their other sides can also be placed between pairs of domino sparks in several ways, resulting in two reactions: toad-flipping, where the toad is reflected, and toad-sucking, where the toad is moved sideways one position. Since each step must occur twice to return the toad to the original period, this usually results in an oscillator of double the original period (or quadruple, if the original period is odd). Several examples are shown in the period 60 versions of a toad between two pentadecathlons. Several additional period 8 versions using Figure-8s do not double the period, because the Figure-8's domino sparks have an extra bit-spark that produces a second domino hassling the toad twice in immediate succession each cycle. Toad-sucking can also occur be done by pairs of c/4 or c/6 orthogonal spaceships that produce domino sparks each time they advance. This could theoretically also work with spaceships of any slower even base period that move one step each period and produce one domino spark each period.

Pairs of toads, known as killer toads, can also eat expanding objects like middle-weight and heavy-weight spaceships, and forming 3/4 traffic light. These are most useful for eating spaceship streams whose period is a multiple of 2. For those whose period is a multiple of 3, killer candelfrobras are more appropriate.

## The 11 twelve-bitoscillators

 Up beacon on table; Cis- beacon and table [6] 12-bit P2 #1 [18] Fox; Gnome [12] Down beacon on table; Trans- beacon and table [6] Phoenix [10] Hexapole [12] Caterer [11] Mold [5] Mazing [5] Figure-8; Big beacon [4] Penta- decath- lon [3]

The Caterer is the smallest oscillator that produces a period 3 finger spark.

Mold is the smallest oscillator that produces a period 4 diagonal bit spark. Also, mold forms on most still-lifes that have a bonding surface like the long diagonal side of a loaf (from which its name was inspired), so it forms the basis for many larger period 4 oscillators (and many with periods that are multiples of 4, such as period 12).

Figure-8 is the smallest oscillator that produces a period 8 (delayed) domino spark.

The pentadecathlon consists of two forming Traffic light predecessors. It produces a useful domino spark, making it useful in hassler oscillators of many periods, including 15, 30, 45 and 60. Both its end and side sparks can eat gliders and the three simple spaceships in many different ways. Its end spark is also useful for reflecting gliders, and is used in glider shuttles of many periods, including 45, 60 and 75.

Its phase can also be altered (as described under the notes for Traffic light).

## The 4 thirteen-bit oscillators

 Byflops; Butter- fly; Griddles on two Ys [21] Bipole tie boat [8] Hepta- pole [16] Jam [7]

Jam is the cheapest oscillator that produces a period 3 finger spark. It is one bit larger than the caterer, but much cheaper and easier to synthesize. Also, jam forms on most still-lifes that have a bonding surface like the long diagonal side of a loaf (from which its name was inspired), so it forms the basis for many larger period 3 oscillators (and many with periods that are multiples of 3, such as period 6).

## The 31 fifteen-bit oscillators

 15-bit P2 #1 [x] Down beacon on up long bookend w/ hook [9] Test tube baby w/ hook [9] Up beacon on down long bookend w/ hook [9] Block on griddle; Griddle and block; Singular flip- flop [12] Blinkers bit pole [x] 15-bit P2 #3 [34] Down beacon on up long bookend w/ tub [9] Test tube baby w/ tub; Odd test tube baby [9] Down beacon on down long bookend w/ hook [9] Down beacon on down long bookend w/ tub [9] Up beacon on down long bookend w/ tub [9] Up tripole on table [10] Mutter- ing moat 1 [x] 15-bit P2 #6 [21] 15-bit P2 #7 [23] Up beacon on up long bookend w/ hook [9] Bipole tie eater tail [13] Phoenix w/ cavity [11] Up beacon on up long bookend w/ tub [9] Down tripole on table [9] Bipole tie python [12] Tripole tie snake [12] Tripole tie ship [12] Bipole tie eater head [12] Bipole tie long boat [10] Tripole tie carrier [15] Quad- pole tie boat; Quad- pole on boat [7] Nono- pole [24] Pseudo- barber- pole; Flamm- en- kamp's P5 [28] Blocker [6]

The pseudo-barber-pole superficially resembles the whole series of period 2 barber-pole oscillators, but strangely enough, has a period of 5 instead. It forms the basis for a large number of larger period 5 oscillators (and many with periods that are multiples of 5, such as period 10).

The blocker is the smallest oscillator that produces a period 8 diagonal bit spark.

## The 108 sixteen-bit oscillators

The 98 period 2 oscillators are shown on a separate page, while the 10 oscillators of higher period are shown here.

 Block on down candel- frobra [12] Block on up candel- frobra [9] Short Keys [6] Odd Keys [20] Bent Keys [10] Trice tongs [14] Eater eating integral [10] Octagon II [6] Unix [6] Tumbler [6]

Octagon II has eight fingers that can sometimes be used to hassle other oscillators like the period 50 Traffic Jam.

The Unix is the smallest oscillator that produces a period 6 diagonal bit spark.

## The 211 seventeen-bit oscillators

The 199 199 period 2 oscillators are shown on a separate page, while the 12 oscillators of higher period are shown here.

 Up boat on down candel- frobra; Cis- boat and long hook eating tub [11] Down boat on down candel- frobra [13] Up boat on up candel- frobra [10] Down boat on up candel- frobra [8] Short key and skewed pole [33] Bent key and skewed pole [28] Eater eating integral w/ hook [9] Eater eating integral w/ tub [10] Silver's P5 on snake [19] Silver's P5 on snake [14] Coe's P8; Tim Coe's P8 [8] Smiley [28]

## The 535 eighteen-bit oscillators

The 484 period 2 oscillators are shown on a separate page, while the 51 oscillators of higher period are shown here.

 Up table on up candel- frobra [12] Up ship on down candel- frobra [12] Beehive on down candel- frobra; Beehive and long hook eating tub [12] Up cis carrier on up candel- frobra [14] Up ship on up candel- frobra [10] Down ship on down candel- frobra [13] Up cis carrier on down candel- frobra [16] Down snake on up candel- frobra [16] Up snake on down candel- frobra [15] Up trans carrier on down candel- frobra [16] Up trans carrier on up candel- frobra [14] Up snake on up candel- frobra [13] Down trans carrier on down candel- frobra [16] Down snake on up candel- frobra [13] Down table on down candel- frobra [14] Beehive on up candel- frobra [7] Down cis carrier on down candel- frobra [16] Down ship on up candel- frobra [10] Down trans carrier on up candel- frobra [14] Cis skewed poles [8] Block on cuphook w/ pre- block [12] Carrier bridge candel- frobra [13] Down table on up candel- frobra [10] Down cis carrier on up candel- frobra [14] Pulsar quad- rant [12] Block on down cuphook w/ tail; Cuphook [7] Block on up cuphook w/ tail; M.I.T. Oscillator [8] Eater eating eater w/ feather [11] Two pulsar quad- rants; Pulsar 18-22-20 [17] French kiss; Eaters plus [23] Eater eating eater w/ siamese carrier [12] Eater eating eater w/ siamese snake [12] Eater eating integral w/ tail [11] Eater eating integral w/ long hook [13] Eater eating integral w/ down boat [11] Eater eating gull [10] Integral eating integral [8] Eater eating integral w/ up boat [12] Trans skewed poles [x] Mono- gram; Initials; JHC [15] Up mold on table [10] Down mold on table [10] Fumarole [7] Silver's P5 on python [23] Silver's P5 on eater [24] Silver's P5 above eater [12] Flammen- kamp's P8 [13] Up beacon on up candel- frobra [13] Up beacon on down candel- frobra [13] Down beacon on down candel- frobra [13] Down beacon on up candel- frobra [13]

Monogram (whose name is derived from the fact that it resembles the letters JHC, the initials of John Horton Conway, the inventor of Life), while it has no sparks, can be used as a sparker oscillator in some circumstances, because it can delete blinkers.

The Fumarole is the smallest oscillator that produces a period 5 domino spark.

## The 1165 nineteen-bit oscillators

The 1083 period 2 oscillators are shown on a separate page, while the 82 oscillators of higher period are shown here.

## The 2990 twenty-bit oscillators

The 2722 period 2 oscillators are shown on a separate page, the 216 period 3 oscillators are shown on a separate page, and the 52 oscillators of higher period are shown here.

 Up mold on cap [10] Up mold on up long bookend [12] Down mold on down long bookend [10] Up mold on down long bookend [10] Up mold tie wing [16] Down mold on cap [10] Mold siamese up long hat [22] Mold tie hook w/ tail [25] Mold siamese cis shil- lelagh w/ hook [71] Mold siamese down long hat [22] Mold tie up bookend w/ tub [21] Down mold on up long bookend [12] 20-bit P4 #1 [24] Mold siamese cis fuse w/ two tails [30] Snake siamese mold siamese snake [27] Carrier siamese mold siamese snake [33] Carrier siamese mold siamese carrier [39] Mold tie pond [14] Mold bit tie loaf [26] Down mold tie wing [15] Down mold tie bookend w/ tub [20] Eater block frob; Eater and block eating loaf w/ tail [12] Con- fused eaters [20] Fumarole w/ up boat [10] Fumar- ole w/ two tubs [16] Silver's P5 on integral [27] Silver's P5 above long shil- lelagh [27] Silver's P5 on long canoe [20] Silver's P5 on long hook w/ tail [23] Silver's P5 above extra long snake [20] Elkies's P5 [24] Silver's P5 above tub w/ long tail [26] Silver's P5 on hat [18] Silver's P5 behind tub w/ long tail [22] Silver's P5 above down boat w/ tail [14] Silver's P5 above up boat w/ tail [15] Silver's P5 above long hook w/ tail [16] Pentoad between two eaters [12] Pseudo- barber- pole tie boat [36] Up bipole on up candel- frobra [16] Up bipole on down candel- frobra [16] Down bipole on down candel- frobra [16] Down beacon on cuphook w/ pre- block [17] Up beacon on cuphook w/ pre- block [18] Up beacon on down cuphook w/ tail [9] Up beacon on up cuphook w/ tail [14] Down beacon on up cuphook w/ tail [12] Blonker [25] Down bipole on up candel- frobra [17] Down beacon on down cuphook w/ tail [13] Queen bee shuttle between trans blocks [6] Queen bee shuttle between cis blocks [6]

The Queen bee is extremely versatile. It is a shuttle that flips over every 15 generations, leaving a beehive egg, which must be removed; in both cases above, by a block. The Queen bee forms the basis for the first glider gun ever discovered, as well as many oscillators with periods of 30n.

It can also eat gliders many different ways:

• Row 1 #1+2: left sides cook glider into block, then into toxic boat; right sides cook glider into toxic block
• Row 1 #3: cooks glider into boat, then into toxic blinker
• Row 1 #4: both sides cook glider into toxic loaf
• Row 1 #5: cooks glider into toxic beehive
• Row 2 #1+2: cook glider into block, then eat the block
• Row 2 #3+4: cook glider into something the block then eats
• Rows 3-6: eat glider directly

## The 7110 21-bit oscillators

These are divided into the following categories:

60 of these are shown (excluding period 2 and 3 oscillators, and all period 5 oscillators based on Silver's P5 and the pseudo-barber-pole, because of their great numbers).

## The 244+ 22-bit oscillators

These are divided into the following categories:

31 of these are shown.

 Test tube baby between cis snakes [30] Test tube baby between trans snakes [30] 22-bit P4 oscillator #1 [16] 22-bit P4 oscillator #3 [27] 22-bit P4 oscillator #2 [34] 22-bit P4 oscillator #4 [x] 22-bit P4 oscillator #5 [x] Two blocks on armpit [10] Two eater tails on butter- fly [15] Eater and block eating integral w/ loaf [12] Confused eaters w/ boat [21] Integral and block eating loaf w/ tail [15] Confused eaters w/ integral [23] Two candel- frobras [24] Belu- chenko's P3 w/ loaf and integral [21] Eater- bound pond [13] Belu- chenko's P3 w/ tail and integral [24] Integral w/ down boat eating integral w/ down boat [12] Integral w/ up boat eating integral w/ up boat [12] Elkies's P5 w/ claw and pre-block [x] Silver's P5 before cis shil- lelagh w/ tub [x] Elkies's P5 w/ boat [x+2] Hooks on eater [22] Hooks on python [17] Silver's P5 above long cis hook w/ tail [x] Hooks above eater [15] Integral w/ hook eating penta- decathlon [9] Integral w/ tub eating penta- decathlon [8] Queen bee between block and up close eater [6] Queen bee between block and down close eater [6] Elkies's Two eaters hassling two T tetrominos [9]

## The 539+ 23-bit oscillators

These are divided into the following categories:

43 of these are shown.

In addition to being able to being able to eat gliders in all the same ways a queen bee can, plus several others, the Buckaroo can also naturally reflect gliders 90 degrees, making it useful in constructing glider loops of period 30n.

## The 1225+ 24-bit oscillators

These are divided into the following categories:

46 of these (other than periods 4, 15 and most 5) are shown.

## The 1417+ 25-bit oscillators

These are divided into the following categories:

43 of these (other than periods 4 and most 15) are shown.

## Oscillators 26 bits and larger

Due to the large number of oscillators, these are shown on the Oscillators by period page, since most oscillator periods only have oscillators in this category.

## The 4 oscillators buildable from 3 gliders

Toads have no stable surfaces, but one side vacillates between one and two bits, making it possible to form pseudo-objects with other toads or similar oscillators, or with even-period oscillators that create domino sparks, like the Figure-8.

Their other sides can also be placed between pairs of domino sparks in several ways, resulting in two reactions: toad-flipping, where the toad is reflected, and toad-sucking, where the toad is moved sideways one position. Since each step must occur twice to return the toad to the original period, this usually results in an oscillator of double the original period (or quadruple, if the original period is odd). Several examples are shown in the period 60 versions of a toad between two pentadecathlons. Several additional period 8 versions using Figure-8s do not double the period, because the Figure-8's domino sparks have an extra bit-spark that produces a second domino hassling the toad twice in immediate succession each cycle. Toad-sucking can also occur be done by pairs of c/4 or c/6 orthogonal spaceships that produce domino sparks each time they advance. This could theoretically also work with spaceships of any slower even base period that move one step each period and produce one domino spark each period.

Pairs of toads, known as killer toads, can also eat expanding objects like middle-weight and heavy-weight spaceships, and forming 3/4 traffic light. These are most useful for eating spaceship streams whose period is a multiple of 2. For those whose period is a multiple of 3, killer candelfrobras are more appropriate.

The Pulsar consists of four inducting Traffic light predecessors. Its predecessors are used in many other oscillators (as described under Traffic light). Pulsars are also infinitely extensible, by arranging multiple quadrants in a closed loop. The Pulsar, consisting of four quadrants, is the smallest such arrangement. The Quasar, consisting of twelve quadrants, is the next largest.

The pentadecathlon consists of two forming Traffic light predecessors. It produces a useful domino spark, making it useful in hassler oscillators of many periods, including 15, 30, 45 and 60. Both its end and side sparks can eat gliders and the three simple spaceships in many different ways. Its end spark is also useful for reflecting gliders, and is used in glider shuttles of many periods, including 45, 60 and 75.

Its phase can also be altered (as described under the notes for Traffic light).

## 3 oscillators buildable from 4 gliders

Clocks have thumbs that can sometimes be used to suppress diagonal bit-sparks, allowing clocks to be used as rocks to stabilize some larger oscillators.

Figure-8 is the smallest oscillator that produces a period 8 (delayed) domino spark.

## 5 oscillators buildable from 5 gliders

Mold is the smallest oscillator that produces a period 4 diagonal bit spark. Also, mold forms on most still-lifes that have a bonding surface like the long diagonal side of a loaf (from which its name was inspired), so it forms the basis for many larger period 4 oscillators (and many with periods that are multiples of 4, such as period 12).

## 39 oscillators buildable from 6 gliders

In addition to being able to being able to eat gliders in all the same ways a queen bee can, plus several others, the Buckaroo can also naturally reflect gliders 90 degrees, making it useful in constructing glider loops of period 30n.

## 5 Not quite oscillators

 Eater tie beacon [11] Skewed pulsar [4] Doubly skewed pulsar [8] Two Queen bee shuttles #1 [4] Two Queen bee shuttles #2 [4]

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.

Related: oscillators in multi-color Life.

Other oscillators by period: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 24, 30, 36, 60, other.

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