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2004 December 31

New 17c/45 Spaceship: The Caterpillar

Pi Crawler Gabriel Nivasch has announced the construction of a spaceship which travels at the speed of 17c/45. It is based on a "Pi Crawler" reaction, where a Pi Heptomino moves up a string of Blinkers leaving the string undisturbed. This means that multiple Pi Crawlers can use the same string of blinkers, and if multiple tracks are properly positioned, they can interact with each other to act as glider puffers or rakes. These gliders can then be used to create c/2 Orthogonal Spaceships which in turn can run ahead of the Pi Crawlers and lay down the necessary Blinker tracks. For more information on how all this works, see Nivasch's earlier report on the Caterpillar components.

The spaceship itself has a period of 270, and is huge. The dimensions are 4195 cells wide by 330,721 cells deep. Starting with a population of 11,967,399, ranging from 11880063 (gen 113) to 12019156 (gen 210). Nivasch reports that he wrote a program which fitted together 51 different .rle subpatterns that make up the Caterpillar into the final, working pattern. This is the first known spaceship which travels at this speed (0.378c), and the largest object ever actually constructed to date.

Jason Summers has made available a zipped 7.1Meg copy of the .rle file, It has been reported that this .rle file will successfully load and execute with the Life32 program by Johan Bontes, or with Hashlife by Tomas Rokicki. With Life32, just wait a bit for it to load, and be sure to zoom down to a reasonable subsection of the entire pattern, otherwise each generation will take an inordinate amount of time to display. Properly zoomed down, it only takes about a second per generation.

Update: 2005-Jan-03

Gabriel Nivasch has updated his web page to provide a 1:40 scale illustration of the entire object.

2004 December 30

New Oscillators

P6 oscillator P4 oscillator Noam Elkies has found a pair of related period 6 oscillators, while Nicolay Beluchenko has found a new period 4 oscillator.

2004 December 22

New 2c/5 Spaceship

2c/5 spaceships Harmut Holzwart has found a new 2c/5 spaceship. The red shaded area can be repeated. The lower pattern shows the Order 3 version.

Update: 2004-Dec-30

Turns out that this is not a true spaceship, as there is an unsuppressed spark on the trailing edge, that interferes with the spaceship's operation.

2004 December 18

Glider Constructions
Lightbulb Construction

Lightbulb Lightbulb Mark Niemiec has built some new lightbulb constructions. They're based upon a naturally occurring Lightbulb found by Andrzej Okrasinski, from a simple predecessor found by Karel Suhajda with some refinements by H.Koenig and dgreene. The first shows 11 gliders which form a symmetric version using a House as the inductor. The second shows how a 10-bit inductor can be built instead, and the final line shows how that inductor can be converted to a 7-bit Bookend, using a total of 16 Gliders.

As Niemiec points out, there are no known ways to convert any of these inductors to a snake, allowing not only the construction of the minimal form of the Lightbulb, shown above left, but also many other oscillators and objects

2004 December 17

New 2c/4 and Diagonal c/4 Spaceships

2c/4 spaceships In the past few months, Harmut Holzwart has found a number of new 2c/4 and diagonal c/4 spaceships.
c/4 diag. spaceships