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.
:boat-bit A binary digit represented by the presence of a boat next to a snake (or other suitable object, such as an aircraft carrier). The bit can be toggled by a glider travelling along a certain path. A correctly timed glider on a crossing path can detect whether the transition was from 1 to 0 (in which case the crossing glider is deleted) or from 0 to 1 (in which case it passes unharmed). Three gliders therefore suffice for a non-destructive read. The mechanisms involved are shown in the diagram below. Here the bit is shown in state 0. It is about to be set to 1 and then switched back to 0 again. The first crossing glider will survive, but the second will be destroyed.
In January 1997 David Bell found a method of reading the bit while setting it to 0. A MWSS is fired at the boat-bit. If it is already 0 (absent) then the MWSS passes unharmed, but if it is 1 (present) then the boat and the MWSS are destroyed and, with the help of an eater1, converted into a glider which travels back along exactly the same path that is used by the gliders that toggle the boat-bit.signals.
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.
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.
Each cell with three neighbors becomes populated.
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).
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.
The Guardian published a nice article about John Conway.
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Implemented by Edwin Martin <firstname.lastname@example.org>