# The Mazoyer Firing Squad

The Mazoyer Firing Squad

Page 65 of Feynman's Lectures on Computation introduces a problem of message passing. A 1D line of cells can only influence neighbors to each side. One cell is turned on, and all cells must reach an identical "firing" state. The nearest-neighbor character of this problem makes it soluble by means of cellular automata. This Demonstration uses a 7-color rule that would be about in base 10 (see the program for the exact value).

n

7.38971×

289

10

The problem was first proposed by John Myhill in 1957, and first solved by John McCarthy and Marvin Minsky in 1962.