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[Axiom-developer] Re: Axiom + High Energy Physics

From: Bob McElrath
Subject: [Axiom-developer] Re: Axiom + High Energy Physics
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 09:11:19 -0800
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.11

C Y address@hidden wrote:
> --- Bob McElrath <address@hidden> wrote:
> > C Y address@hidden wrote:
> > > Of course the best way to proceed is to document the ideas and
> > > implement them as part of Axiom, but until then it might be nice to
> > > be able to interface with the outside world.  Sucking in things 
> > > like the cernlibs is not for the faint of heart ;-).
> > 
> > Uh...I know this is probably a joke, a daily user of
> > cernlib... the functionality of cernlib has no intersection with 
> > axiom.
> Really?  I thought they at least had some numerical routines that could
> be of interest?

Cernlib certainly contains mathematical routines.

However it contains a very large number of things which are not
mathematical routines, and it is written in fortran.

A much more appropriate library for interfacing is the GNU Scientific
Library, BLAS, and LAPACK.  Taken together these cover almost all of the
cernlib routines.  Anything it does not cover should be added to them,
rather than imported from cernlib.  ;)

> I don't use it though, so I may be wrong.  I was just thinking CAS+High
> Energy Physics tasks might be a good match, but I readily admit I don't
> know cernlib all that well.

Besides, the data analysis package root ( has superceded

> Feyncalc would probably be my first target once the basic abilities for
> physical science packages have been implemented (units, dimensions, and
> error analysis) since that's a Mathematica package and already part of
> a CAS environment (plus I know my own old department used it).  We
> discussed the possibility on the list a while back - I think it would
> be really neat to try implementing Feyncalc in Axiom, and I have a
> feeling it would appeal to a lot of High Energy Physics departments who
> want to run Feyncalc but have no $$ for Mathematica.  The problem is I
> don't know if anyone would use it even if I did implement it - I'm not
> part of the high energy physics community so it's dubious whether
> people would trust it enough to want to use it - they might prefer to
> stick to Mathematica.

They would.  People tend to (rightfully) distrust such packages, and the
learning curve is high, so people tend to continue using what they know.

But of course I think such an effort is still worthwhile.

> I'm sort of hoping Axiom might someday become the tool of
> choice for theoretical physics - 

Me too!  ;)

Bob McElrath [Univ. of California at Davis, Department of Physics]

    "In science, 'fact' can only mean 'confirmed to such a degree that it would
    be perverse to withhold provisional assent.' I suppose that apples might
    start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in
    physics classrooms." -- Stephen Jay Gould (1941 - 2002)

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