From simple building blocks, complex systems can emerge. As with life, so too with the Game of Life, Conway's simple set of rules for evolving pixels on a grid:
For a space that is 'populated':
- Each cell with one or no neighbors dies, as if by solitude.
- Each cell with four or more neighbors dies, as if by overpopulation.
- Each cell with two or three neighbors survives.
For a space that is 'empty' or 'unpopulated':
- Each cell with three neighbors becomes populated.
From those simple rules, surprisingly complex behaviour can arise. From self-sustaining entities like the basic glider:
to a variety of spaceships and even a gun that shoots gliders. And those simple elements can be further combined to create complex machines like this digital clock, all powered by those simple rules of Life. (Click here and then press the Run button to see the clock in action.)
That's all for us for this week. Have a great weekend, and we'll be back on Monday.