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« Misc. New Oscillators and Spaceships | Main | 2c/3 perpendicular signals through 'stripes' »

2006 April 20

Puffers
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.

P140+44083.6%
P100+21016.2%
P20+3590.16%
P100+560.05%
32P20H10V00.015%
P200+1950.015%
P100+98trace


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.

P128+2699.77%
P256+5450.105%
P256+7430.055%
P32+340.042%
P256+5250.022%
P256+3860.004%
P128+240trace


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

P64+2097.2%
P128+922.3%
59P4H2V0.10.40%
P144+1230.05%
P624+6330.003%
P96+1130.001%