Gosper’s Glider Gun creating "gliders" in the cellular automaton Conway’s Game of Life. This is by no means the most complex pattern devised: Conway and his students devised a pattern with 1013 cells that acts as a Turing complete computer.
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Cellular Automata (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
First published Mon Mar 26, 2012; substantive revision Tue Aug 22, 2017
Cellular automata (henceforth: CA) are discrete, abstract computational systems that have proved useful both as general models of complexity and as more specific representations of non-linear dynamics in a variety of scientific fields. Firstly, CA are (typically) spatially and temporally discrete: they are composed of a finite or denumerable set of homogenous, simple units, the atoms or cells. At each time unit, the cells instantiate one of a finite set of states. They evolve in parallel at discrete time steps, following state update functions or dynamical transition rules: the update of a cell state obtains by taking into account the states of cells in its local neighborhood (there are, therefore, no actions at a distance). Secondly, CA are abstract: they can be specified in purely mathematical terms and physical structures can implement them. Thirdly, CA are computational systems: they can compute functions and solve algorithmic problems. Despite functioning in a different way from traditional, Turing machine-like devices, CA with suitable rules can emulate a universal Turing machine (see entry), and therefore compute, given Turing’s thesis (see entry on Church-Turing thesis), anything computable.
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A cellular automaton model of wildfire propagation and extinction
Author(s):Keith C. Clarke;James A. Brass;
Abstract: A brand new paradigm for that unification of physics is described. It's known as Cellular Automata (CA) theory, the most massively parallel computer model presently recognized to science. We maintain that in the tiniest distance and time scales the world is totally deterministic, and absolutely simple. Our world is really a Cellular Automaton composed of the huge variety of cells able to storing number information. These cells form an enormous, 3D 'geometric' CA, where each cell has 26 surrounding neighboring cells that influence the condition of the given cell. CA theory directly signifies that all of the laws and regulations of physics must result from interactions which are strictly local, therefore forbidding any kind of action far away. CA theory shows that space, time, matter, energy, and motion are the same factor: the finish consequence of information altering condition in the CA. The CA model instantly contains an natural maximum posted speed limit for which information could be moved around.We advise that light (photon) motion may be the fixed, simple shifting of the photon information pattern from cell to adjacent cell at each 'clock cycle'. Thus photons 'travel' only at one fixed speed, that is unaffected by possible source motion. By adopting absolute CA space and time coordinates for that description of the pair of observers in inertial reference frames having a relative velocity 'v', then the Lorentz transformation follows in past statistics.
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