Anti-matter made easy - on paper
Aug 20, 2002
Particle physicists have to overcome many obstacles in their efforts to understand the fundamental nature of matter and its interactions. The accelerators and detectors used in high-energy physics push modern technology to the limit, and massive computer power is needed to analyse the results of the experments. But sometimes particle physicists must overcome smaller problems - like how do you quickly place a line over a letter or character in a Word document to represent an anti-particle? This problem has now been solved by a team of physicists at the University of Mississippi-Oxford in the US.
In a paper entitled “A Microsoft Word Font for Anti-Matter”, Don Summers and colleagues explain how they have developed a font that allows users “to directly add overlined English and the most used overlined Greek characters to Microsoft Word documents on Apple Macintosh computers.” To make anti-matter a user simply types shift 5: for instance, shift 5 followed by B will produce an anti-B meson, while shift 5 followed by option shift z will produce an anti-Lambda particle. The font, called LinguistA, is available in 12 and 24 point type. Now all that is needed is something to make overlining easy on the Web.