Spaceships in Life

Space ships that travel through.

Perhaps the most interesting objects in the Game Life almost from the beginning were space ships. It samples, which, like the oscillators periodically repeat themselves. But, unlike oscillators, they each time are shifted to a new place.

Almost 20 years in Life was known practically only 4 spacecraft. It is moving diagonally glider and three orthogonal vehicle – light spaceship (LRC), the average space ship (CCM) and heavy spacecraft (TAC). Actually ships were more an attempt to build a heavier spacecraft has led to the emergence of fleets, which, in fact, are space ships. But evidence of split fleets on familiar components (some of which can’t exist by themselves) has led to the fact that fleets are often treated as composite objects.

These 4 ships (now they are called standard spaceships) are the smallest spaceships. They very often appear in the study of other configurations or in random samples. This especially applies to the glider, which consists of only five cells.

Other spacecraft found after 1989, do not may appear in random configurations. Rather, the probability of their occurrence is so small that none of the researchers have never observed their casual appearance, and it is unlikely cogdale can happen. To discover these spacecraft, the researchers had to develop special programs search, that is, to bring you in on this computer. But the use of the search engines because of the need to consider a huge number of choices are limited by a rather narrow region. So the possible search space of the ships having a period of not more than five for the long periods search time would have exceeded all reasonable limits. But within these periods overlap fairly rigid restrictions on either the length of the ship, or to its width. Therefore, the search program found mostly either wide and short ships, or long and narrow ships.

Nevertheless, the use of search engines made it possible not only to find some space ships, but to notice some features of their structure. Highlighting some repeated in different vehicles parts (called components) and rules of their connection in a single ship was allowed to develop for periods 2 and 3 of the so-called grammar. These grammars allow us to construct new spaceships of the components as blocks. Is it possible to create spaceships unlimited width and unlimited length. Such ships would never find any search program.

Another direction in the creation of new space ships – a search for tagalongs. Tagalong are objects that are fragile by themselves, but being hooked up to space ship can move with him. Basically, Tagalog is the same components of the spacecraft, components, and grammars. The only difference from component is that if you remove tagalong, the spacecraft will continue to exist as if nothing had happened, as if to remove a component, the remaining part of the spacecraft will be unstable.

The use of components and tagalong allows you to build spaceships of different shapes: branched spaceships, vehicles with internal holes, etc.

One of the most interesting features of spacecraft are sparks which can sometimes appear on their edges. Sparks is separated from the body of the ship cell or group of cells, which then die. Spark can be used in several different ways.

First spark – this is the traditional site of attachment of tagalongs to the vehicle body. In addition, sparks can be used to influence objects, by which the ship passes. Sparks make disturbances in the work of such “roadside” objects. At the same time the ship itself no discomfort feels as sparks split. And, finally, the sparks themselves can be perturbed and transformed from a virtual to any real object. This will turn the spacecraft in a locomotive.

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