By @jfschaff, on 2024-04-03

Written in close collaboration with a large language model

Sharing Science Notes with the World

One reason I chose science and became a quantum physicist is probably my love for calculus and formal calculation.

I did like abstraction and concepts and understanding how Nature works. But there is another side to this love affaire. I enjoyed the mathematical symbols for what they are to me: little works of art laid on paper.

Writing my PhD thesis was work, effort and a lot of thoughts, but it was also producing a contemporary artwork that can be appreciated by anyone just for the emotion it sparks with its equations and plots.

And my ally in this adventure has been the only system capable of correctly writing mathematical expressions: LaTeX.

This passion has shaped my trajectory, but it has also confronted me with an unavoidable reality: the often intimidating barrier of LaTeX editing. LaTeX, with its promise of unmatched document beauty, demands a counterpart in the form of a steep learning curve and an editing process that can sometimes feel more akin to ancient alchemy than modern science.

I remember the long hours spent deciphering cryptic errors, juggling packages, and hoping that my compilation would this time result in a finished document, without an unexpected error interrupting this moment of grace. It was an almost masochistic ritual, where the desire to create something beautiful was constantly tested by the technical demands of the tool meant to enable it.

It must have been in these moments of struggle and creative ecstasy that the idea of Science Notes sprouted. Why, I wondered, should we accept this dichotomy? Why should the path to creating a scientific document, an artwork in its own right, be littered with obstacles?

Science Notes was born from a simple ambition: to democratize access to the beauty of scientific documents. By rethinking the LaTeX experience, my goal is to remove technical barriers, to eliminate enigmatic compilations and endless package installations, leaving only the purity of creation.

With Science Notes, I want to offer every researcher, student, engineer, and teacher the freedom to focus on the essence of their work without being distracted by the underlying complexities. Imagine a space where mathematical symbols flow from your mind to the page with ease, where equations come to life effortlessly, allowing you to compose scientific documents with the fluidity of a brush gliding over a canvas.

The journey to create Science Notes is not without its own challenges and discoveries, and is only just beginning. Like any act of creation, it will require perseverance, innovation, and a willingness to push the boundaries of what is possible. But the result, I hope, will speak to everyone who, like me, sees in their equations and diagrams more than just tools of communication: an expression of the intrinsic beauty of the world around us.

By sharing Science Notes with the world, my desire is to provoke in others that same emotion I feel in front of a page filled with formal calculations — not intimidation, but wonder. To transform the act of writing a thesis, an article, or even lecture notes, into an experience where science and art become one, accessible to all, without exception.

Jean-François Schaff

PS: you can try Science Notes at