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b2o5b$b2o5b2$bo6b$obo5b$o2bo2b2o$4bob2o$2b2o! #C [[ THUMBSIZE 2 THEME 6 GRID GRIDMAJOR 0 SUPPRESS THUMBLAUNCH ]] #C [[ AUTOSTART ]] #C [[ GPS 3 THUMBSIZE 2 ]]
Pattern type Oscillator
Number of cells 16
Bounding box 9×9
Frequency class 29.3
Period 6
Mod 6
Heat 11.3
Volatility 0.80
Strict volatility 0.80
Discovered by David Buckingham
Year of discovery 1976

Unix (plural: unices) is a period-6 oscillator that was found by David Buckingham on February 10, 1976. It consists of two blocks eating a long barge.[1] Its name derives from the fact that it was for some time the mascot of the Unix lab of the mathematics faculty at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. With just 16 cells, it is the smallest known period 6 oscillator.[2] It is a useful sparker, having been applied to p18 bi-block hassler, period-246 glider gun, hotcrystal0 reaction, p6 bumper, and so on.


Unix is about the twenty-sixth most common naturally-occurring oscillator in Achim Flammenkamp's census, being about as common as octagon 2.[3] On Catagolue, it is the most common period 6 oscillator and until 2020, it was the only non-trivial one to have appeared naturally, as all others consisted of period 2 and 3 rotors that do not interact.[4] However, on May 8, 2020, an oscillator appeared naturally consisting of a unix whose spark is suppressed on one side by a clock.[5]

Glider synthesis

A 5-glider synthesis of this oscillator was found by Goldtiger997 on May 14, 2019, based on a 4-glider collision submitted to Catagolue by Arie Paap in a custom apgsearch symmetry.[6]

See also


  1. Dean Hickerson's oscillator stamp collection.
  2. "Class 2 Objects Catalog". Retrieved on March 14, 2009.
  3. Achim Flammenkamp (September 7, 2004). "Most seen natural occurring ash objects in Game of Life". Retrieved on January 15, 2009.
  4. Adam P. Goucher. "Statistics". Catagolue. Retrieved on October 27, 2018.
  5. praosylen (May 8, 2020). Re: Soup search results (discussion thread) at the ConwayLife.com forums
  6. Jeremy Tan (May 14, 2019). Re: Synthesising Oscillators (discussion thread) at the ConwayLife.com forums

External links

  • 16P6.1 at Heinrich Koenig's Game of Life Object Catalogs