**Size in bits:**
3 |
6 |
8 |
9 |
10 |
11 |
12 |
13 |
14 |
15 |
16 |
17 |
18 |
19 |
20 |
21 |
22 |
23 |
24 |
25 |
Larger

**Cost in gliders:**
2 |
3 |
4 |
5 |
6

**Frequency of occurrence** |
**Not quite oscillators**

Blinker [2] |

Toad [3] | Clock [4] | Beacon [3] |

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.

Bipole [5] |

Tripole [7] |

Quadpole [6] |

Pentapole [10] |

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).

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

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

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

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.

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 30*n*.

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

These are divided into the following categories:

- 6596 period 2 oscillators (2 shown below).
- 420 period 3 oscillators (not shown).
- 34 period 4 oscillators (shown below).
- 42 period 5 oscillators (6 shown below).
- 15 period 6 oscillators (shown below).
- 2 period 8 oscillators (shown below).
- 1 period 15 oscillator (shown below).

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).

These are divided into the following categories:

- An unknown number of period 2 oscillators (4 shown below).
- An unknown number of period 3 oscillators (6 shown below).
- 120 period 4 oscillators (9 shown below).
- 76 period 5 oscillators (7 shown below).
- 43 period 6 oscillators (not shown).
- 2 period 15 oscillators (shown below).
- 2 period 30 oscillators (shown below).
- 1 period 36 oscillator (shown below).

31 of these are shown.

These are divided into the following categories:

- An unknown number of period 2 oscillators (3 shown below).
- An unknown number of period 3 oscillators (1 shown below).
- 239 period 4 oscillators (10 shown below).
- 210 period 5 oscillators (1 shown below).
- 71 period 6 oscillators (2 shown below).
- 8 period 8 oscillators (shown below).
- 5 period 10 oscillators (shown below).
- 8 period 15 oscillators (shown below).
- 2 period 30 oscillators (shown below).

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 30*n*.

These are divided into the following categories:

- An unknown number of period 2 oscillators (9 shown below).
- An unknown number of period 3 oscillators (2 shown below).
- 571 period 4 oscillators (not shown).
- 419 period 5 oscillators (4 shown below).
- 185 period 6 oscillators (2 shown below).
- 12 period 8 oscillators (shown below).
- 2 period 10 oscillators (shown below).
- 4 period 12 oscillators (shown below).
- 24 period 15 oscillators (not shown).
- 4 period 24 oscillators (shown below).
- 2 period 30 oscillators (shown below).
- 1 period 36 oscillator (shown below).
- 1 period 60 oscillator (shown below).

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

These are divided into the following categories:

- An unknown number of period 2 oscillators (2 shown below).
- An unknown number of period 3 oscillators (2 shown below).
- 1343 period 4 oscillators (not shown).
- An unknown number of period 5 oscillators (not shown).
- An unknown number of period 6 oscillators (3 shown below).
- 18 period 8 oscillators (shown below).
- 1 period 10 oscillator (shown below).
- 1 period 12 oscillator (shown below).
- 40 period 15 oscillators (3 shown below).
- 4 period 24 oscillators (shown below).
- 8 period 30 oscillators (shown below).
- 2 period 36 oscillators (shown below).

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

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.

Blinker [2] |

Toad [3] | Beacon [3] | Pulsar; Pulsar CP 48-54-72 [3] | Penta- decathlon [3] |

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).

Clock [4] | Spark coil [4] | Figure-8; Big beacon [4] |

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.

Bipole [5] | Great on-off; Pincers [5] | Spark coil tie boat; Boat on spark coil [5] | Mold [5] | Mazing [5] |

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).

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 30*n*.

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.

**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.

Copyright © 1997, 1998, 1999, 2013, 2014 by Mark. D. Niemiec.
All rights reserved.

This page was last updated on
*2015-02-19*.