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2007 January 30

Glider Constructions
Natural Clock

17.101-L-7 My ongoing project of going through collisions of a Glider with 16 and 17 bit stable objects looking for those that might be useful in object construction has found something else interesting. For the first time, I've come across a methuselah pattern that generates a natural, non-trivial Clock. The starting pattern is a Glider colliding with a 17-bit object. The Clock appears at generation 864, while the pattern finally settles down at 1507 generations

In the past, some of my large random pattern surveys turned up the occasional Clock, but whenever I looked closely at them, all that were examined showed that the Clock formed in the first generation or two and then somehow managed to survive all the turmoil of the next few thousand generations. I don't remember ever seeing one that appeared midway or late in a pattern's evolution.

Clock ConstructionJason Summers took one of the predecessor generations and was able to produce a six-Glider construction which cleanly builds a Clock in 52 generations.

Clock ConstructionClocks can be constructed with as few as four Gliders, and a few constructions from other objects are also known.