A functional self-replicator has been designed for Conway's game of life.
The deceptively simple automata 'Conway's game of life' is a model system that illustrates how simple 'physics' can give rise to incredibly complex phenomena. Although a menagerie of existing patterns have been discovered/engineered that display a variety of interesting behavior (eg here
), there are also many unanswered questions
about what is possible within the simulation. Recently, life-enthusiast mscibing succeeded in designing a universal constructor pattern that is capable of building a functional copy of itself. Its execution can be viewed directly (though it takes a while!) using Golly
, a sweet, open-source app for viewing life simulations, as well as other cellular automata.
posted by armheadarmlegleg
on Jun 3, 2010 -
Meat is Neat.
We are but tiny machines. Remember the YouTube video of a funky animation of cellular activity? Here it is with a voice explanation of what's going on. Absolutely mindblowing.
some sort of embedded video, dsl-quality with sound. see here for other forms
posted by five fresh fish
on Oct 27, 2006 -
You may have heard of Conway's Game of Life
, where pixels "live" or "die" based on a few simple rules about how many neighbors they have. But did you know that in the 30 years since the game was created, Life enthusiasts have (created? discovered?) an extensive catalog
of (objects? creatures?
) which interact to form some amazing
, sometimes beautiful
, occasionally even a little scary
patterns often starting from the simplest
of building blocks
? (Including a Turing machine
!) Or that a lone pixel
can exert remarkable control
over its environment? Now you can see in a few seconds in a java applet
, on your desktop
, or even on a PalmOS handheld
the outcome of simple patterns that, when first discovered, no computer could handle. A mind blowing example of the power of emergent properties
posted by straight
on May 29, 2002 -