# Timeline of Life facts

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This is a timeline of some key events related to the Game of Life since John Conway brought it to life.

## Timeline

### 1970

- John Horton Conway invents the Game of Life
- First oscillators of periods 2, 3, 4, 8, 14, 15 and 30 are found: blinker, pulsar, pinwheel, figure eight, tumbler, pentadecathlon and queen bee shuttle
- The first c/4 diagonal spaceship, the glider, is discovered by Richard Guy, the only known until 1999
- The first c/2 orthogonal spaceship, the lightweight spaceship, is found by John Conway
- The first gun, the Gosper glider gun--the first known finite pattern with unbounded growth--is discovered by Bill Gosper
- Martin Gardner writes two popular "Mathematical Games" columns in
*Scientific American*, thereby introducing the Game of Life to a much wider audience

### 1970s

- Lifeline, first Life newsletter edited and published by Robert Wainwright (March 1971)
- The first known puffers that travelled at c/2 orthogonal are found (1971)

### 1980s

- The HashLife algorithm is first described by Bill Gosper in the early 1980s
- John Conway proves in
*Winning Ways*that the Game of Life has a (finite) universal computer, as well as a universal constructor (1982) - Dean Hickerson creates the first oscillator search program (1989)
- As a result of search programs, the first spaceship other than the standard four and flotillas is found (1989)
- XLife is developed, allowing much larger patterns to be simulated relatively efficiently on "modest hardware" (1989)

### 1990s

- The first non-monotonic spaceship, the 13-engine Cordership, is found (1991)
- Johan Bontes' fast CA editor Life32 becomes available (mid-1990s)
- The first c/5 orthogonal spaceship, the snail, is discovered (1996)
- Alan Hensel's fast Java applet makes his extensive pattern collection easily available on the Internet (1996)
- David Buckingham develops a suite of components leading to a universal set of Herschel conduits, enabling complex signal processing using stable constellations of small still lifes (1996)
- The first true period 24 and 48 guns are discovered (June 1997)

### 2000s

- The Caterpillar, the first self-supporting mega-spaceship, is completed (2004)
- Golly is born (July 2005)
- Brice Due's OTCA metapixel appears (just in time to show off Golly's HashLife capabilities) (2006)
- Forums for Conway's Game of Life is born (December 2008)
- LifeWiki goes live (January 2009)
- LifeWiki's 600 patterns milestone is reached (June 2009)
- First oscillators of period 37 and 51 are found (2009)

### 2010s

- Adam P. Goucher completes a pi calculator pattern based on APGsembly (2010)
- Andrew J. Wade surprises the Life community with Gemini, the first complete self-constructing spaceship
- The snark is discovered (April 2013)
- Adam P. Goucher's Catagolue online database of objects in CGOL and similar cellular automata is launched (2015)
- Conwaylife Lounge is born on Discord (September 2017)
- The first elementary oblique spaceship, Sir Robin, is discovered (March 2018)

### 2020s

- Conway's Game of Life: Mathematics and Construction, the definitive CGOL textbook by Nathaniel Johnston and Dave Greene, is published (2022)
- After 50 years, the Unique father problem is solved, giving us the first known unsynthesizable still life (2022)
- The first unsynthesizable oscillator is constructed (2022)
- Life is shown to be omniperiodic (July 2023)

## See also

- LifeWiki:News archive, containing a more detailed history of events not included here, from 2009 onwards

- Forum threads

- Timeline of Life facts (discussion thread) at the ConwayLife.com forums
- First Known Oscillators for Each Period (discussion thread) at the ConwayLife.com forums
- History Of ConwayLife (discussion thread) at the ConwayLife.com forums
- The Past and Future of CGOL (discussion thread) at the ConwayLife.com forums