Phoenix 1

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Phoenix 1
3bo$3bobo$bo$6b2o$2o$6bo$2bobo$4bo! #C [[ THUMBSIZE 2 THEME 6 GRID GRIDMAJOR 0 SUPPRESS THUMBLAUNCH ]] #C [[ AUTOSTART ]] #C [[ LOOP 2 GPS 2 THUMBSIZE 2 ]]
Pattern type Oscillator
Oscillator type Phoenix
Number of cells 12
Bounding box 8 × 8
Frequency class 41.4
Period 2
Mod 1
Heat 24
Volatility 1.00
Strict volatility 1.00
Rotor type Flutter
Discovered by MIT group
Year of discovery 1971
This article is about the 12-cell oscillator. For the general concept, see Phoenix.

Phoenix 1 (or flip-flops[1]) is a period-2 oscillator that was discovered by the MIT group[2] no later than September 1971.[3] It is the smallest known phoenix as well as the first discovered phoenix, and is thus sometimes simply referred to as the phoenix.

Phoenix 1 consists of four identical three-cell segments flutter chained in a loop. Other arrangements are possible, to generate larger period 2 phoenices as shown below. A single copy of this rotor can also be supported by a stator: this is an oscillator known as the griddle. The same rotor segment also appears in by flops and why not.

Despite its small size, it had not shown up naturally in soup until October 5, 2015, making it the last 12-bit object to appear naturally;[4] and another soup turned up with this object on October 23.[5] Both of these soups were found by Tomas Rokicki using apgsearch.

In even 90° rotational symmetry (C4_4), it is much more common, being the thirty-first most common object and the fourth most common period-2 oscillator according to Catagolue.


Main article: List of common oscillators

Information on this oscillator's natural occurrence with respect to other naturally-occurring patterns is currently unknown.

Note that this section only concerns absolute natural occurrence - symmetric starting configurations are only counted as semi-natural.

Glider synthesis

Martin Grant found a 6-glider synthesis for this oscillator on March 1, 2015, based on a symmetric reaction from Bob Shemyakin.[6]


Phoenix 1 is trivial to extend, yielding an infinite family of volatility-1 oscillators, an example shown below.

3bo7bo4b$3bobo5bobo2b$bo5bobo6b$7bo6b2o$2o14b$14bob$2bo13b$12b2o2b$2b 2o12b$13bo2b$bo14b$14b2o$2o6bo7b$6bobo5bob$2bobo5bobo3b$4bo7bo! #C [[ THUMBSIZE 2 THEME 6 GRID GRIDMAJOR 0 SUPPRESS THUMBLAUNCH ]] #C [[ THUMBSIZE 2 AUTOSTART GPS 2 ]]
An extension of phoenix 1 (click above to open LifeViewer)
RLE: here Plaintext: here

See also


  1. "Flip-flops". The Life Lexicon. Stephen Silver. Retrieved on June 21, 2011.
  2. Dean Hickerson's oscillator stamp collection. Retrieved on March 14, 2020.
  3. Robert Wainwright (September 1971). Lifeline, vol 3, page 3.
  4. Adam P. Goucher (October 5, 2015). Re: Soup search results (discussion thread) at the forums
  5. Billabob (October 23, 2015). Re: Soup search results (discussion thread) at the forums
  6. Martin Grant (March 1, 2015). Re: 4 glider syntheses (discussion thread) at the forums

External links