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.
:glider (c/4 diagonally, p4) The smallest, most common and first discovered spaceship. This was found by Richard Guy in 1970 while Conway's group was attempting to track the evolution of the R-pentomino. The name is due in part to the fact that it is glide symmetric. (It is often stated that Conway discovered the glider, but he himself has said it was Guy. See also the cryptic reference ("some guy") in Winning Ways.)
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 <email@example.com>