# Succumbing to LaTeX

**Update:** The post below was written back when CV was on its own. Here on the *Discover* site, the way to put something into Latex is to start with

$latex

and end with a simple

$

This stands in marked contrast with the previous system, explained below.

——————————————————-

For a long time I was reluctant to joint the many other sciencey blogs that had integrated equations by providing support for LaTeX, the technical typesetting system that nearly every physicist and mathematician uses. Possible reasons for this attitude include:

- We felt it was important to remain accessible to a wide range of readership, and feared that the appearance of equations would put people off (and tempt us into being unnecessarily technical).
- It sounded like work.

You can decide for yourself which is more true. The good thing is, there is no wrong answer!

But right now I am uninspired to blog because my brain is preoccupied with real science stuff. So I thought of posting about some of the fun ideas in quantum mechanics I’ve been learning about. But there’s really no way to do it without equations. So for that reason, and in belated honor of Donald Knuth’s birthday, I went and installed the LatexRenderer plugin. (Amazingly, InMotion Hosting already had LaTeX installed on our server. Yay for them!)

So now it’s easy to include equations; they should even be available in comments. All you have to do is type [tex], then your LaTeX commands, then [/tex]. So for example

[tex]R_{munu}-frac{1}{2}Rg_{munu}=8pi G T_{munu}[/tex]

should produce

$latex R_{munu}-frac{1}{2}Rg_{munu}=8pi G T_{munu}$.

There are a million online tutorials; try this list of commands to get you started. Use comments to this post to try it out. (Sadly, no preview, so be careful, and this post will remain open for playing around.) One thing I’ve noticed: don’t use linebreaks within the formulas, just put everything on the same line. And use “displaystyle” if you want the look of a set-off (rather than in-line) equation.

But now I should get back to work. So to keep you thinking, here are a couple of equations from the stuff I’m thinking about and hopefully will explain soon:

$latex displaystyle langlelangle hat{mathcal O}ranglerangle =lim_{t rightarrow infty}frac{1}{t}int^t_0 langle psi_s|hat{mathcal O}|psi_srangle ds = rm{tr}(hatrho hat{mathcal O}),, $

$latex displaystyle hatrho = frac{1}{Z} exp{left(-beta hat{H} – sum^n_{i=2} mu_i hat{F}_iright)},.$

Kind of beautiful, in an austere way, don’t you think?

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