Schick engine

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Schick engine
x = 20, y = 11, rule = B3/S23 bo2bo$o$o3bo$4o9b2o$6b3o5b2o$6b2ob2o6b3o$6b3o5b2o$4o9b2o$o3bo$o$bo2bo! #C [[ THUMBSIZE 2 THEME 6 GRID GRIDMAJOR 0 SUPPRESS THUMBLAUNCH ]] #C [[ AUTOSTART ]] #C [[ TRACKLOOP 12 -1/2 0 THUMBSIZE 2 GPS 4 ]]
Pattern type Tagalong
Number of cells 39
Bounding box 20 × 11
Direction Orthogonal
Period 12
Mod 12
Speed c/2 | 6c/12
Heat 43.2
Discovered by Paul Schick
Year of discovery 1972

The Schick engine (or Schick ship) can refer to one of four period-12 c/2 orthogonal spaceships which involve a flotilla of two standard spaceships pulling a period-12 tagalong. The term "Schick engine" may alternatively be used to refer to the tagalong alone, separately from the two spaceships supporting it.

This tagalong was found by Paul Schick in 1972. For about fifty years the 39-cell LWSS-on-LWSS variant of the Schick engine was the smallest known period-12 spaceship in terms of population, until it was displaced by the 35-cell 35P12H6V0 in February 2022.

The four possible spaceship types are displayed in a table below, with the tagalong portion highlighted in green.

Its eleven-cell rear spark can be perturbed by other c/2 spaceships to form a variety of puffers and thus it is a puffer engine.[1]


Main article: List of common spaceships

A lightweight Schick engine first appeared naturally on February 12th, 2019,[2] having previously emerged (along with its middleweight and heavyweight variants) from symmetric soups on Catagolue.[3][4][5] A second natural Schick engine appeared in October 2020.[6]

Notably, a middleweight Schick engine appeared semi-naturally on February 13th, 2022,[7] in the symmetry C2_2, which is a rotational symmetry and thus would not be predisposed to produce such an object. It has yet to occur naturally.

Glider synthesis

An 11-glider synthesis for the lightweight Schick engine was found by Douglas G. Petrie in 1973.[8]


Image Name Min. population Supporting flotilla apgcode Cost in gliders
Lightweightschickengine.png Lightweight Schick engine 39 LWSS on LWSS (pseudo) xq12_fh1i0i1hfzw8sms8zxfjf 9
Middleweightschickengine.png Middleweight Schick engine 42 MWSS on MWSS 1 xq12_v1120211vz01gpcpg1zxv7vzy01 11
Heavyweightschickengine.png Heavyweight Schick engine 44 HWSS on HWSS 1 xq12_v1120211vz120ioi021zw1vev1zx121 14
Asymmetricschickengine.png Asymmetric Schick engine 42 LWSS on HWSS 2 xq12_xupuzw27d72zu10109ghuz3221 11

See also


  1. Robert Wainwright (March 1973). Lifeline, vol 9, page 5.
  2. Adam P. Goucher (February 12, 2019). Re: Soup search results (discussion thread) at the forums
  3. Richard Schank (December 14, 2014). Re: Soup search results (discussion thread) at the forums
  4. Richard Schank (March 10, 2015). Re: Soup search results (discussion thread) at the forums
  5. gmc_nxtman (March 20, 2016). Re: Soup search results (discussion thread) at the forums
  6. bubblegum (October 5, 2020). Re: Soup search results (discussion thread) at the forums
  7. dani (February 13, 2022). Re: Soup search results (discussion thread) at the forums
  8. Robert Wainwright (September 1973). Lifeline, vol 11, page 19.

External links