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.

Twin bees shuttle

:twin bees shuttle (p46) Found by Bill Gosper in 1971, this was the basis of all known true p46 guns, and all known p46 oscillators except for glider signal loops using Snarks, until the discovery of Tanner's p46 in 2017. See new gun for an example. There are numerous ways to stabilize the ends, two of which are shown in the diagram. On the left is David Bell's double block reaction (which results in a shorter, but wider, shuttle than usual), and on the right is the stabilization by a single block. This latter method produces the very large twin bees shuttle spark which is useful in a number of ways. See metamorphosis for an example. Adding a symmetrically placed block below this one suppresses the spark. See also p54 shuttle.

Game of Life pattern ’twin_bees_shuttle’

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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