Gosper glider gun

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Gosper glider gun
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Pattern type Gun
Number of cells 36
Bounding box 36×9
Period 30
Barrels 1
Discovered by Bill Gosper
Year of discovery 1970

The Gosper glider gun is the first known gun, and indeed the first known finite pattern with unbounded growth, found by Bill Gosper in November 1970.[1] It consists of two queen bee shuttles stabilized by two blocks. Its 36 cells remained the smallest size of any known gun until the discovery of the double-barreled Simkin glider gun in 2015 which overtook this record with only 29 cells.

As the Gosper glider gun can be constructed with only 8 gliders, it has the smallest known glider synthesis of any gun. It can be destroyed completely by 2 gliders, as shown below.


  • There are two other ways in which queen bees can interact to form gliders,[2] and a third queen bee can be used to reflect a glider and make a "pseudo-Gosper gun".[3]

Image gallery

Glider destruction of the Gosper glider gun
RLE: here
An inline inverter inverting a glider stream
RLE: here
Twogun, the smallest known period-60 gun, is composed of two Gosper glider guns.
RLE: here

See also


  1. Dean Hickerson's oscillator stamp collection. Retrieved on March 14, 2020.
  2. Mark Niemiec (September 11, 2013). Re: It´s not a Gosper Glider Gun ! (discussion thread) at the ConwayLife.com forums
  3. Tropylium (September 26, 2013). Re: It´s not a Gosper Glider Gun ! (discussion thread) at the ConwayLife.com forums

External links