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Thread Contributor: CovertBotNews - Drawing Feynman Diagrams for Fun and Profit with JaxoDraw
#1
Drawing Feynman Diagrams for Fun and Profit with JaxoDraw

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<div class="field field--name-field-node-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <img src="https://www.linuxjournal.com/sites/default/files/nodeimage/story/bigstock--158388092.jpg" width="800" height="572" alt="""" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></div>

<div class="field field--name-node-author field--type-ds field--label-hidden field--item">by <a title="View user profile." href="https://www.linuxjournal.com/users/joey-bernard" lang="" about="https://www.linuxjournal.com/users/joey-bernard" typeof="schemaTongueerson" property="schema:name" datatype="" xml:lang="">Joey Bernard</a></div>

<div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>
<em>I've been covering chemistry software in my last few articles, so this time, I
decided to move to physics and introduce a package called JaxoDraw.
In physics, there's a powerful technique
for visualizing particle interactions at the quantum level.</em> This
technique uses something called Feynman diagrams, invented by physicist
Richard Feynman. These diagrams help visualize what happens when one or
more particles have some kind of interaction. I say one or more because a
single particle could spontaneously kick out other particle/anti-particle
pairs and then swallow them back up again. Needless to say, quantum
physics is weird.
</p>

<p>
When first developed, theoretical physics
was mostly done either with pen and paper or on a chalkboard.
Not much thought was given as to how you could render these drawings within
a document being written on a computer. JaxoDraw is meant to help fill
in that gap in document layout and provide the ability to render these
drawings correctly and give output you can use in your own documents.
</p>

<p>
JaxoDraw is written in Java, so it should run under almost any operating
system. Unfortunately, it isn't likely to be in the package repository
for most distributions, so you'll need to download it from
the project's <a href="http://jaxodraw.sourceforge.net">website</a>. But, because it's packaged as a jar file,
it's relatively easy to run.
</p>

<p>
Download the binary package,
unpack it on your machine, and then you'll want to open a terminal
and change directory to the location where you unpacked JaxoDraw. You
can start it simply by typing the following:

</p><pre>
<code>
java -jar jaxodraw-2.1.0.jar
</code>
</pre>


<p>
This opens a blank workspace where you can start your
diagram. On the left-hand side of the window, you'll
see a palette of all of the available drawing elements that you can use
to generate your diagram.
</p>

<img src="https://www.linuxjournal.com/sites/default/files/styles/max_1300x1300/public/u%5Buid%5D/12419f1.png" width="1300" height="693" alt="""" class="image-max_1300x1300" /><p><em>
Figure 1. When you first open JaxoDraw, you see a blank workspace where you can start
diagramming your quantum particle interaction.</em></p>

<p>
To see what's involved, let's draw an electron
interacting with a photon. This happens when energy is absorbed or
emitted by an electron. Since you're looking at an interaction, you'll
want to start by selecting the vertex button from the palette and
then draw one in the window. Coming into this vertex will be a fermion line
for the electron and a photon line for the incoming electromagnetic
energy. The interaction happens at the vertex, with a second fermion
line coming out the other end. You can continue adding more elements,
including loops or bezier lines, and you also have the choice
of other particle types, such as scalar particles, ghost particles or
gluons.
</p></div>

<div class="field field--name-node-link field--type-ds field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="https://www.linuxjournal.com/content/drawing-feynman-diagrams-fun-and-profit-jaxodraw" hreflang="en">Go to Full Article</a>
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