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Once upon a time there was a mathematician who's name was John Conway. He created many things, and one of these things is a game with cells, to simulate life. It is interesting because it shows how simple rules can create stunning patterns. In this way it is a model for the evolution of life on earth.

The artificial world Conway created consits of a board divided in sqare cells. Every cell is dead or alife. Time flies in steps, so we can speak about a moment t, and a moment t+1, the first moment after t. Every cell has 8 direct neighbours, because we count the diagonal neighbours also. For each cell we can count the living Neighbours on moment t. Call this number N. The laws of fysics are such that a cell lives on t+1:

Otherwise it's dead. The fate of the world on t+1 is completely determined by the way it was on moment t. In theory, one plays on a infinite board.

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This Java applet simulates such a world. In the beginning, it's all dead.

Some very beautiful starting configurations are discovered. Do "random seed" and push start a couple of times and maybe you will find the glider: A bunch of 5 cells travelling by itself. There are more and bigger ships. There are stable patterns, the simplest being the 2x2 square. And there are periodic configurations, like the blinker: a horizontal or vertical line of three cells.

Sourcecode

Just mail me if you have any problems reading or running it.
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