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
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.
If it was dead on t and
If it was alive on t and
is 2 or 3.
This Java applet simulates such a world. In the beginning, it's all dead.
leftclick to kill or animate cells.
rightclick to change your viewpoint: The point you click reappears in the middle. You can also
hold down shift or control while clicking, on a Macintosh computer.
"step" will calculate the next world
"random seed" will randomly seed some cells in the world.
"clear" will wipe out all lifeforms.
"zoom in" and "zoom out" are as usual.
"stop" and "start" will start the simulation.
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.
Just mail me if you have any problems reading or running it.
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