Glider-producing switch engine

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Glider-producing switch engine
bo65b$bo65b$bo65b$5bo61b$b3o2bo60b$o4bo61b$o3bo62b$b3o63b$15b2o50b$13b 2o2bo49b$obo10b2o3bo48b$obo10b2o52b$obo64b$obo17bo46b$b2o14bo49b3$22bo 2bo41b$26bo40b$22bo10b2o32b$26bo6b2o32b$22b4o41b$21bo45b$22b2o43b$23bo 43b3$41b2o24b$41b2o24b3$13b2o52b$13b2o52b5$36b2o29b$36b3o9b2o17b$37bo 10bobo16b$49bo17b$33bo33b$27bo5bo33b$26bobo11b3o24b$26bo2bo9bob2o24b$ 16b2o9b2o10b2o26b$15bo2bo48b$15b2ob2o47b$18bobo46b$20b2o45b$17bo3bo45b $17bo2bo44b2o$18b3o44b2o3$54bo12b$53bobo11b$40bo12b2o12b$39bobo25b$39b 2o! #C [[ THUMBSIZE 2 THEME 6 GRID GRIDMAJOR 0 SUPPRESS THUMBLAUNCH ]] #C [[ AUTOSTART ]] #C [[ TRACK -1/12 -1/12 THUMBSIZE 2 HEIGHT 480 Z 4 ]]
Pattern type Puffer
Number of cells 123
Bounding box 67 × 60
Frequency class 21.0
Direction Diagonal
Period 384
Speed c/12
Discovered by Charles Corderman
Year of discovery 1971

The glider-producing switch engine (or glider-making switch engine) is a puffer that was found by Charles Corderman in the early 1970s.[1] It consists of a switch engine reacting with blocks to produce various still lifes, several blinkers, and a glider every 384 generations.

Because of its easy construction (see its predecessors below), it has appeared in some superlinear growth patterns including mosquito 3, and in some universal constructors like the reverse caber tosser.


The glider-producing switch engine is the second most common naturally-occurring pattern that exhibits infinite growth, the most common being the block-laying switch engine. It is also the ninety-first most common object on Adam P. Goucher's Catagolue.[2]


Time bomb

The time bomb is a 17-cell pattern found by Douglas G. Petrie that evolves into a glider-producing switch engine.[3][4]

bo11b2o$obo4bo6bo$7bo4bo2b$2bo2bo3bo2bo2b$2b2o6bo4b$3bo! #C [[ THUMBSIZE 2 THEME 6 GRID GRIDMAJOR 0 SUPPRESS THUMBLAUNCH ]] #C [[ THUMBSIZE 2 ]]
Time bomb
(click above to open LifeViewer)
RLE: here Plaintext: here

Other predecessors

x = 28, y = 6, rule = B3/S23 bobo$o$bo2bo$3b3o$26b2o$26b2o! #C [[ THUMBSIZE 2 THEME 6 GRID GRIDMAJOR 0 SUPPRESS THUMBLAUNCH ]] #C [[ THUMBSIZE 2 ]]
Another simple predecessor of the glider-producing switch engine
(click above to open LifeViewer)
RLE: here Plaintext: here

Although a clean synthesis of the glider-producing switch engine requires 4 gliders, Michael Simkin found a 3-glider collision in October 2014 which includes the puffer in its ash.[5] This collision has the minimum number of gliders necessary to exhibit infinite growth, and is the only known 3-glider collision to do so.

There is a list of known 4-glider syntheses with the condition that all escaping gliders are forward-facing.[6]


The debris left behind by the glider-producing switch engine


  1. Robert Wainwright (December 1971). Lifeline, vol 4, page 2.
  2. Adam P. Goucher. "Statistics". Catagolue. Retrieved on June 24, 2016.
  3. Robert Wainwright (June 1973). Lifeline, vol 10, page 3.
  4. "Time bomb". The Life Lexicon. Stephen Silver. Retrieved on May 16, 2009.
  5. Michael Simkin (October 24, 2014). Re: Making switch-engines (discussion thread) at the forums
  6. dani (November 12, 2022). Re: Thread for your unsure discoveries (discussion thread) at the forums

External links