The game of life: some answers

Here are some answers to the questions posed in the classroom activity on the game of life.

  • Diagonal lines of any length always die out.
  • Examples of simple initial patterns that always remain the same are the block of four, the "beehive" and the "loaf".

    From left to right: the block of four, the beehive and the loaf.

  • Example of patterns that oscillate with aperiod two are the "blinker", the "toad" and the "beacon".

    From left to right: blinker, the toad and the beacon.

  • Generally, it appears that patterns eventually settle down on some "stable" configuration with components that oscillate between a small number of patterns. Few initial configurations die out. Sub-components tend to develop some symmetry which does not disappear.

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