Designing Beauty: The Art of Cellular Automata

Volume 20 of the series Emergence, Complexity and Computation pp 83-86


The Enlightened Game of Life

  • Claudio ContiAffiliated withInstitute for Complex Systems, National Research Council (ISC-CNR) and Department of Physics, University Sapienza Email author 

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The interaction of light with complex matter is one of the fundamental subjects in modern physics and biology. This topic is relevant from a variety of different perspectives, including, among others, modelling of animal behaviour (as the moonlight driven coral reef spawning), evolution (the development of the eye), and light activated matter (as, e.g., opto-genetics and laser-driven micro-motors). From a very abstract point of view, if one accepts cellular automata (CA) as the simplest mathematical model for life (as originally suggested by Conway), one can try to include the interaction with light and electromagnetic radiation by enlarging the set of evolution rules to obtain a photo-sensible CA.