Feynman Figures for Fun

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Nov 30, 2012 8:52 PM EDT
Linux Journal; By Joey Bernard
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In quantum physics, one of the calculations you might want to do is figure out how two or more particles may interact. This can become rather complicated and confusing once you get to more than two particles interacting, however. Also, depending on the interaction, there may be the creation and annihilation of virtual particles as part of the interaction. How can you keep all of this straight and figure out what could be happening? Enter the Feynman diagram (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feynman_diagram). American physicist Richard Feynman developed Feynman diagrams in 1948. They represent complex quantum particle interactions through a set of very simple diagrams, made up of straight lines, wavy lines and curly lines. This works really well if you happen to be using a chalk board or white board. But, these media are not very useful when sharing your ideas across the Internet. Additionally, most word-processing software is unable to draw these diagrams for your articles, papers and documents. So what can you do? Use the JaxoDraw software package (http://jaxodraw.sourceforge.net).

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