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2006 April 20

Puffer Orbits

Jason Summers has investigated puffer train variants and found some new ones. The strategy was to take a known puffer and add random bits behind it. He calls them "orbits", a term from Chaos Theory where oscillating systems stabilize into a predictable state. The puffers here are referred to by their period and the number of bits added per cycle.

Switch Engine
P288+32 8 Block 71%
P384+59 Forward Glider 29%

He also investigated a number of other puffers. For a single Switch Engine, only the two known variants appeared. Several other puffers, including the Schick Engine, the P16 Coe Ship, and others, produced no new variations.

In the following tables, the percentages are approximate, intended to illustrate how common or rare a particular puffer might be. The bit patterns are not the actual puffer, but a simpler pattern which will eventually evolve into the puffer.

Single B puffers The first puffer presented here is a single B Heptomino supported by a pair of Lightweight Spaceships. This was the first variety of puffer train discovered by William Gosper in 1971 (P140+440). It was only during this survey that Summers discovered a simple spaceship version, featured in a previous posting, was found.


Twin B puffers The next set of puffers are based on the Twin-B Heptomino puffers. The most common one produces the 14 bit Bookends stable object, and was also discovered by William Gosper.


59P4 puffers 59P4H2V0.1 Another set of puffers are based on the 59P4H2V0 Spaceship discovered by Hartmut Holzwart.


2006 April 09

Misc. New Oscillators and Spaceships

32P20H10V0 Jason Summers has found a simple new way to stabilize one of the first known puffer trains, the Period 20 B-Heptomino Puffer Train, turning it into a small 2c/4 Period 20 Spaceship.

Period 4 Snowflake Agar Nicolay Beluchenko has found a way to stablize the edges and corners of the Period 4 Snowflake Agar, allowing the creation of Period 4 Oscillators.

Period 4 Snowflake Agar Other components exist, which can be used to create these simplest forms of the agar oscillator.

c/4 wave spaceship Nicolay Beluchenko found a way to terminate some c/4 Waves found earlier by Hartmut Holzwart, allowing for the creation of a variety of spaceships.

Website Update

I've updated my Game of Life Info website. I've made quite a few formatting changes, as well as adding some new information. There are now several thousand new Period 2 objects in the database that I've come across in my P2-Oscillator Rotor investigations, as well as a number of new oscillators and spaceships found by others these past few months. I've also started a section on the subject of P2-Rotors, as well as cleaning up and updating the text on Glider Constructions. In the next few months, hope to add to both of these areas.

2006 April 03

Greyships & Spacefillers
Chicken-Wire-Agar Greyships

'chicken-wire' agar greyship with variable-width chicken-wire
Hartmut Holzwart, 30 March 2006
Hartmut Holzwart has produced some examples of an alternate type of greyship. Except for the 'Christmas tree' ships, previous greyships' stable central sections have been made up of continuous stripes of ON and OFF cells. However, central sections with stripes made up of alternate strips of ON and OFF cells (with at least two cells per strip) are also stable, and it is possible to construct greyships that can escort this kind of 'chicken-wire' agar pattern.

'chicken-wire' agar greyship with width-3 chicken-wire
Hartmut Holzwart, 30 March 2006

'chicken-wire' agar greyship with width-2 chicken-wire
Hartmut Holzwart, 30 March 2006

'chicken-wire' agar greyship with width-7 chicken-wire
Hartmut Holzwart, 30 March 2006

'chicken-wire' agar greyship with width-5 chicken-wire
Hartmut Holzwart, 30 March 2006

Wicks & Fuses
Wave Stabilization Update

new ends for Hartmut Holzwart's orthogonal c/4 wave from March 10.
Nicolay Beluchenko, 1 April 2006
Nicolay Beluchenko has found a solution for an unsolved stabilization problem described by Hartmut Holzwart back in February. Since the wick in question moves orthogonally at c/4 -- so it might better be called a "wave" rather than a "wick" -- a standard stationary oscillator can't be used as a fencepost to stabilize its ends. Instead, special-purpose terminal spaceships must be constructed that travel along with the wave with the appropriate speed and direction to provide the stabilizing sparks.