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Re: [Axiom-developer] Re: FeynCalc -> MAXIMA

From: C Y
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] Re: FeynCalc -> MAXIMA
Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 17:13:49 -0700 (PDT)

--- Bob McElrath <address@hidden> wrote:

> The *purpose* of FeynCalc is to be a general purpose framework 
> for doing quantum field theory calculations.  That is, dirac 
> matrices, trace rules, Feynman rules from Lagrangians, 
> representations for fields and the like.

This brings up an interesting point.  Much of the discussion so far has
been on how to incorporate new knowledge into Axiom/etc as it is
discovered/created, but for a lot of uses the PRACTICAL value of a CAS
is doing repeated calculations within a subset of mathematics. 
Modeling physical systems, for example, most likely allows one to make
some assumptions that a general purpose CAS wouldn't or shouldn't make.

If Axiom is to be useful to people in a field outside pure mathematical
research (such as high energy physics) there should be a way for them
to have a HighEnergyPhysics.pamphlet file or some such that immediately
lets Axiom know about the standard assumptions in the field.  That way,
anyone wanting to write a paper using Axiom in the HighEnergyPhysics
field could simply load that file and have a mathematical environment
corresponding to the one they use to do their work.  I guess Feyncalc
in a sense is such a tool for Mathematica, but given the strictness of
Axiom's environment I wouldn't be surprised if Feyncalc itself might
benefit from a more general definition file.

> The actual algorithms are straightforward, but very tedious to
> calculate, so thus the results are collected into libraries like
> FeynCalc.

Perhaps it would be useful to make the distinction between mathematical
research using a CAS and the CAS as a scientific tool.  Axiom clearly
wants to be a mathematical research level CAS - does it make sense to
add abilities which are mostly practical in nature?  I.e., would Axiom
want to be the place to do quick calculations for a physics paper, as
well as an environment to interact with high level mathematical
research?  I don't think the two are mutually exclusive, but I'm
thinking there does need to be a way for the casual user to be isolated
from advanced mathematical issues and define a more confined working


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