A Cellular automaton is a collection of colored cells on a grid. At each iteration (generation)
the cells may change state (color) depending on the state of the other neighbouring cells.
We will look at automata in which the cells may have 2 states only (dead or alive).
Such simple automata may produce many kinds of interesting behaviour from dull
extinction to life-like growth patterns and chaos.
In the Cellular automata module of Mathgrapher you may try 3 types of automata.
The first 2 (
1D and
2D)
are taken from the book by S Wolfram entitled "A new kind
of Science". The third one,

is a more general type of automata, sometimes called Life.
Dead (uncolored) cells may come to life and living cells may survive or
die depending on the status of their neighbouring cells. Theinitial
state may be random, or some predefined configuration. Such a configuration
may be drawn and stored under some name (Glider, Gosper_gun, block, puffer,
etc. see the list). You may start with one of these stored configurations by
choosing it from the list. When you start the Game of Life the system evolves
according to the Rule given by 2 numbers. Rule 23 / 3
(Conway's Game of Life)
means that (alive) cells with 2 or 3 neihgbours will survive and dead
cells with 3 neighbours become alive.
More information on Cellular automata:

The first one is a
simple one-dimensional Automaton
from Stephen Wolfram's "A new kind of Science".
The inital state is either a single black cell on the middle of the first row or a randomly
choice of black and white cells on the first row. At each iteration the pixels status of
the next row is determined by the status of the 3 nearest neighbours in the row above it
according to the rule number written in binary format. In the example given below the Rule number is 30: = 00011110.
There are eight possible combinations for the colors of the 3 nearest neihgbours: 111
110 101 100 011 010 001 000.
For each combination the color of the cell is given by the number 30 in binary format: 0
0 0
0 1 1
1 0 = 30
The total number of combinations is 256 (2^8).