Gosper glider gun

The Gosper glider gun is the first known gun, and indeed the first known finite pattern with unbounded growth, found by Bill Gosper in November 1970.[1] It consists of two queen bee shuttles stabilized by two blocks. Its 36 cells remained the smallest size of any known gun until the discovery of the double-barreled Simkin glider gun in 2015 which overtook this record with only 29 cells.

Gosper glider gun
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Pattern type Gun
Number of cells 36
Bounding box 36×9
Period 30
Barrels 1
Discovered by Bill Gosper
Year of discovery 1970

As the Gosper glider gun can be constructed with only 8 gliders, it has the smallest known glider synthesis of any gun. It can be destroyed completely by 2 gliders, as shown below.


  • There are two other ways in which queen bees can interact to form gliders,[2] and a third queen bee can be used to reflect a glider and make a "pseudo-Gosper gun".[3]
Glider destruction of the Gosper glider gun
RLE: here
An inline inverter inverting a glider stream
RLE: here
Twogun, the smallest known period-60 gun, is composed of two Gosper glider guns.
RLE: here

See also


  1. Dean Hickerson's oscillator stamp collection. Retrieved on March 14, 2020.
  2. Mark Niemiec (September 11, 2013). Re: It´s not a Gosper Glider Gun ! (discussion thread) at the ConwayLife.com forums
  3. Tropylium (September 26, 2013). Re: It´s not a Gosper Glider Gun ! (discussion thread) at the ConwayLife.com forums
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