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2011 August 26

New spaceship velocity

Matthias Merzenich has discovered a c/7 diagonal spaceship -- the first of its speed. This raises the total to thirteen reasonably-low-period spaceship velocities, specifically eight orthogonal (c/2, c/3, c/4, c/5, 2c/5, c/6, 2c/7, 17c/45) and five diagonal (c/4, c/5, c/6, c/7, c/12). Of course, an infinite number of spaceship velocities are known, as the Gemini can be adapted accordingly.

image
Matthias' extensible c/7 diagonal spaceship.

Moreover, Matthias has actually discovered an infinite family of such spaceships, as one of the frontal components can support itself to yield an extensible spaceship.

2011 August 08

Engineered Objects
Painting with pulsars

As we've been busy recently, there have been no LifeNews postings for the last couple of months. Nevertheless, there have still been miraculous discoveries in Life that need reporting; this is one such example.

image
Pulsar-based display device

'Triller' from Nathaniel's forum has engineered an impressive construction: a fully functional display using pulsars to represent individual pixels. The display is continually refreshed at regular intervals, updating it with the data contained within several memory loops.

As he/she has included a comprehensive description of the mechanism, it would violate Occam's razor for me to describe it in great detail. However, there are some interesting features worth mentioning:

  • Triller has opted for period-30 technology, as opposed to the more modern option of Herschel tracks. This makes the device significantly more compact than its stable counterparts.
  • The image data is contained in data loops, similar to the Golly-ticker in Golly's pattern collection.
  • The sample image is the set of hexadecimal symbols, displayed in alternately ascending and descending order.