Glossary (Game of Life)
Common terms used within Conway's Game of Life.
- Ash: The debris left behind by a random pattern. Commonly composed of still life and simple oscillators.
- Breeder: any pattern that exhibits unbounded quadratic growth. The first and most famous example is Gosper's Glider Gun.
- C: The 'speed of light', one cell per generation. This is the fastest possible speed that any pattern's effects can propagate. Movement in Cellular Automata is measured relative to C. (e.g. C/7 means 1 cell for every 7 generations.)
- Eater: Still life that can interact with other patterns without suffering any permanent damage.
- Generation: each iteration of the rules in a cellular automata is called a generation.
- Glider: The simplest spaceship.
- Glider construction: the construction of an object by means of glider collisions. There is something special about seeing any empty field, with gliders coming in, colliding and resolving into a specific shape. Reminiscent of a Rube Goldberg device.
- Gun: a stationery pattern that emits spaceships.
- Methuselah: a pattern that grows much larger than its starting pattern and lasts many generations.
- Oscillator: a pattern that repeats itself after a fixed number of generations (known as its period)
- Pattern: any arrangement or subset of arrangement of live tiles, irrespective of location and orientation.
- Puffer: A spaceship that leaves behind ash.
- Rake: A spaceship that leaves behind breeders.
- Spaceship: a pattern that appears to travel across the board, by performing oscillations that recreate the same pattern, displaced in some direction. They have a period, and a speed.
- Still Life: any pattern that does not change from one generation to the next.