Toss the word processor (2)

Before continuing with Latex installation, I wanted to recommend a resource for learning the program. Many available texts are typical computer references, with a core-dump of-badly organized information. The exception is the delightful compact book Learning Latex by D.F. Griffiths and D.J. Desmond. It touches on just the right information to get started. You can buy […]

Toss the word processor (1)

Here’s a choice you may have never heard of: should I use a word processor or Latex to write documents? Latex? Wasn’t that the program that Jane Austen used?

In reality, Latex is very much alive, and there is a good chance that you would shelve your word processor if you knew more about it. I started […]

Current-density distributions in Trak

In the design of an electron or ion gun, the radial distribution of current density along the axis, jz(r,z), is often a critical issue. Trak includes several independent methods to calculate the quantity. Because information on implementing the methods is spread throughout the extensive Trak manual, I thought it would be useful to summarize the options […]

Techniques to find electrostatic forces

Our charged particle codes Trak and OmniTrak calculate electric forces on and trajectories of charged-particles that can be consider points compared to the system size (e.g., electrons, ions, …). In this post, I’ll discuss how to find electric forces on finite-size neutral dielectric or metal particles. The application that comes to mind is the forces on […]

How to calculate inductance (3)

In the final installment, we will look at a 3D example of the calculation of mutual inductance. Discussions in this blog have also been added to the Magnum manual (Chapter 13) You can download the latest version at

The example illustrates the energy method described in the previous article ( applied to a two-circuit system, a high-voltage […]