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Homework Help: Conway's game of Life

  1. Jul 17, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    I've decided to research Conway's Game of Life for my science project. and I can't seem to find any equations that would fit as Life's physical laws. Any ideas would be gratefully received. (Please keep in mind that I am merely a high schooler)

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 18, 2010 #2
    Im not sure life has any equations as such. Im not a biologist but nobody had answered your question so I thought Id give my two cents.

    Life is normally governed by rules such as Darwinian Natural Selection (read " https://www.amazon.com/Origin-Speci...sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1279449192&sr=8-1" "). These theories dont really have equations and are concepts.

    At a fundamental all life and everything is governed by Quantum Mechanics or some even more fundamental theory, which does contain equations, but we are a ways off working this out yet!

    Hope this helps.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  4. Jul 18, 2010 #3


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  5. Jul 19, 2010 #4
    Actually, I was wondering if there were equations that would be able to predict the movement(?)/shape of the cells after "n" generations.
  6. Jul 19, 2010 #5


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    I don't think anything of this sort exists.
  7. Jul 19, 2010 #6


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    Well, not an equation, no. An algorithm, yes.

    See, what you do is you set up a simulation. You configure your simulation to match the rules of the Game of Life that you're going to run (we'll call the simulation "The Game of the Game of Life"), then you iterate through the simulation until you reach generation 'n'. Your simulation will now spit out the movement and shape of the cells at generation 'n'. Now you can go back to your Game of Life and know what it will look like at gerenation "n".

    Now here's a bonus question: how might you predict what the cells' shape and movement will be like at generation "n" in your Game of the Game of Life?

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