Play John Conway’s Game of Life

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Life Lexicon

(CC BY-SA 3.0)

This Life lexicon is compiled by Stephen A. Silver from various sources and may be copied, modified and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported licence. See the original credit page for all credits and the original download location. The styling has been adjusted to fit this website.

Fx119 inserter

:Fx119 inserter A Herschel-to-glider converter and edge shooter based on an Fx119 Herschel conduit:

Game of Life pattern ’Fx119_inserter’

This edge shooter has an unusually high 27hd clearance, one of the highest known for a single small component. The only known higher-clearance edge shooters are injectors making use of multiple interacting spaceships. This makes the Fx119 inserter ideal for the construction of wide convoys whose total width can fit within its clearance distance.

The component creates a large cloud of smoke behind its emitted glider which lasts for over 90 generations. In spite of this, many tightly packed convoys can be made by injecting later gliders behind others in the convoy, helped along by the insertion reaction which is able to catch up to the existing gliders. The Fx119 inserter can place a glider on the same lane as a passing glider and as close as 15 ticks behind, which is only one step away from the minimum possible following distance.

John Conway’s Game of Life

The Game of Life is not your typical computer game. It is a cellular automaton, and was invented by Cambridge mathematician John Conway.

This game became widely known when it was mentioned in an article published by Scientific American in 1970. It consists of a collection of cells which, based on a few mathematical rules, can live, die or multiply. Depending on the initial conditions, the cells form various patterns throughout the course of the game.

Rules

For a space that is populated:

Each cell with one or no neighbors dies, as if by solitude.

Each cell with four or more neighbors dies, as if by overpopulation.

Each cell with two or three neighbors survives.

For a space that is empty or unpopulated

Each cell with three neighbors becomes populated.

The Controls

Choose a pattern from the lexicon or make one yourself by clicking on the cells. The 'Start' button advances the game by several generations (each new generation corresponding to one iteration of the rules).

More information

In the first video, from Stephen Hawkings’ documentary The Meaning of Life, the rules are explained, in the second, John Conway himself talks about the Game of Life.

Stephen Hawkings The Meaning of Life (John Conway's Game of Life segment) Inventing Game of Life (John Conway) - Numberphile

The Guardian published a nice article about John Conway.


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