Experiments show that for random soups in Life in finite plane with moderate initial densities (say 0.25 to 0.5), the resulting ash has a density of about 0.0287. In infinite fields the situation may be different in the long run because of certain rare patterns, like long-living quadratic replicators (if any) that produce a large enough "colony" and survive knocking into ash.
Sparse Life (also called, somewhat confusingly, early universe by John Conway) is the study of the evolution of a soup of vanishingly small density in an infinite universe, and as such a part of cosmology. Such a universe is dominated at an early stage by blocks and blinkers (collectively known as "blonks") in a ratio of about 2:1, with rare structures created by common methuselahs (e.g. R-pentominoes and pi-heptominoes). Much later it will be dominated by simple infinite growth patterns (e.g. block-laying switch engine and glider-producing switch engine). The long-term fate of a sparse Life universe is not certain.
Soup search or soup searching is a method of searching for interesting patterns. It is done by running random soups in a specific rule, followed by counting the results and tabulating them.
Soup search can be implemented into languages like C and Python easily, making it popular. It can also be done in Golly, with default keyboard shortcut ctrl+5 to manually randomize a selected region or command g.randfill() to do that in a script. An example Python implementation with the latter has been used to find oscillators across different rules.
Soup searching was employed in the Achim Flammenkamp's census, Andrzej Okrasinski's census and the Online Life-Like CA Soup Search. Currently large-scale soup searches are done with apgsearch with results available on Catagolue; you are welcomed to join via Tutorials/Contributing to Catagolue.
- Soup at the Life Lexicon
- Ash at the Life Lexicon
- Sparse Life at the Life Lexicon
- Early universe at the Life Lexicon
- Soup search results (discussion thread) at the ConwayLife.com forums
- Soup search results in rules other than Conway's Life (discussion thread) at the ConwayLife.com forums