A soup (or broth[1]) is a random initial pattern. It may have different density, symmetry and could cover the whole Life universe or be finite.

<html><div class="rle"><div class="codebox"><div style="display:none;"><code></html>x = 0, y = 0, rule = B3/S23 ! #C [[ THUMBSIZE 2 THEME 6 GRID GRIDMAJOR 0 SUPPRESS THUMBLAUNCH ]] #C [[ RANDOMIZE HEIGHT 300 THUMBLAUNCH OFF ]]<html></code></div></div><canvas width="200" height="300" style="margin-left:1px;"><noscript></html>
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An example 64×64 soup generated by LifeViewer command (changes upon refreshing the page)
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Ash (or less commonly junk or debris) is the (stable, oscillating or flying) outcome of a soup or reaction.

Experiments show that for random soups in Life in finite plane with moderate initial densities (say 0.25 to 0.5), the resulting ash has a density of about 0.0287[citation needed]. In infinite fields the situation may be different in the long run because of certain rare patterns, like long-living quadratic replicators (if any) that produce a large enough "colony" and survive knocking into ash.

Sparse Life

Sparse Life (also called, somewhat confusingly, early universe by John Conway) is the study of the evolution of a soup of vanishingly small density in an infinite universe, and as such a part of cosmology. Such a universe is dominated at an early stage by blocks and blinkers (collectively known as "blonks") in a ratio of about 2:1, with rare structures created by common methuselahs (e.g. R-pentominoes and pi-heptominoes). Much later it will be dominated by simple infinite growth patterns (e.g. block-laying switch engine and glider-producing switch engine). The long-term fate of a sparse Life universe is not certain.

Soup search or soup searching is a method of searching for interesting patterns. It is done by running random soups in a specific rule, followed by counting the results and tabulating them.

Soup search can be implemented into languages like C and Python easily, making it popular. It can also be done manually in golly, with default key ctrl+5 to randomize a selected region.

It was employed in the Achim Flammenkamp's census, Andrzej Okrasinski's census and the Online Life-Like CA Soup Search. Currently large-scale soup searches are done with apgsearch.

See also


  1. Ethan Wilson (December 28, 2007). "Optimal Broth". Retrieved on June 16, 2009.
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