|View static image|
|Number of cells||2953|
|Bounding box||440 × 294|
|Discovered by||Dean Hickerson|
|Year of discovery||1991|
Primer is a pattern that was constructed by Dean Hickerson on November 1, 1991 that produces a stream of lightweight spaceships representing prime numbers. N is prime if and only if a lightweight spaceship escapes to the left of the pentadecathlon at the bottom-left corner of the pattern at generation 120N+100. It was the first known pattern created that computes prime numbers, though others have since been constructed based on the same ideas.
It works by using gliders to emulate a prime number sieve. Lightweight spaceships that move westward are deleted by gliders that represent positive integers if the lightweight spaceship represents a multiple of that number.
- PRIMES.LIF from Alan Hensel's lifep.zip pattern collection. Accessed on July 28, 2009.
- four-primers.rle.gz from Golly's built-in pattern catalogue. Accessed on July 28, 2009.
- Jason Summers (Ferbruary 28, 2012). Re: The theory behind Primer? (discussion thread) at the ConwayLife.com forums
- Wikipedia, Sieve of Eratosthenes
- Primer at the Life Lexicon
- Prime Number Calculators at Game of Life News. Posted by Dave Greene on December 15, 2007.
- Prime numbers at Game of Life News. Posted by Adam P. Goucher on February 04, 2010.