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comment by Devac
Devac  ·  12 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Teaching stuff is resolved.

    You're making my head hurt.

Sorry. This is getting saved to motivate me to develop some sort "you are too sleepy to write" test.

    That might be what got you in trouble - you flippantly picked a religious concept you don't understand perfectly and then used it incorrectly to make your point.

Can't argue with that, although I wouldn't say I was flippant intentionally. Regardless, I get your point.

    But in the Conway glider example, what is the invariant?

Really useful frame-by-frame visualisation

Invariants:

1. Number of black squares after each step.

2. Direction of movement.

3. Distance it will move between each complete cycle.

4. There will always be only one black square that is connected to the rest of the structure by its vertex.

Some of them are invariants for a whole cycle, others work for each frame.

    This is why I gave a counter-example of catalysts - you need them for the reaction, but their mass returns to solution in the course of the process.

Yes. The catalyst can be thought of as an invariant of a specific chemical reaction. Again, sorry for my more than underwhelming response earlier. I hope that this one is clearer.