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Particle: PDG particle data and identification codes

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Particle provides a pythonic interface to the Particle Data Group (PDG) particle data tables and particle identification codes.

The PDG defines the standard particle identification (ID) numbering scheme. The package provides the PDGID class implementing queries on those PDG IDs. The queries are also accessible through free standing functions mimicking the HepPID C++ interface.

The Particle class wraps the information in the PDG particle data tables and provides an object-oriented interface and powerful search and look-up utilities.

The current version of the package reflects a pythonic version of the utility functions defined in HepPID and HepPDT versions 3.04.01, see


Install particle like any other Python package:

pip install particle

or similar (use --user, virtualenv, etc. if you wish).

Strict dependencies


See the changelog for a history of notable changes.

Getting started: PDGIDs

>>> from particle import PDGID
>>> pid = PDGID(211)
>>> pid
<PDGID: 211>
>>> pid.is_meson
>>> pid = PDGID(99999999)
>>> pid
<PDGID: 99999999 (is_valid==False)>

For convenience, all properties of the PDGID class are available as standalone functions:

>>> from particle.pdgid import is_meson
>>> is_meson(211)

PDGID literals provide (PDGID class) aliases for the most common particles, with easily recognisable names. For example:

>>> from particle.pdgid import literals as lid
>>> lid.pi_plus
<PDGID: 211>
>>> from particle.pdgid.literals import Lambda_b_0
>>> Lambda_b_0
<PDGID: 5122>
>>> Lambda_b_0.has_bottom

You can quickly display PDGID info from the command line with:

$ python -m particle pdgid 323
<PDGID: 323>
A              None
J              1.0
L              0
S              1
Z              None
abspid         323
charge         1.0
has_bottom     False

Getting started: Particles

You can use a variety of methods to get particles. If you know the PDGID number you can get a particle directly, or you can use a search:

>>> from particle import Particle
>>> Particle.from_pdgid(211)
<Particle: name="pi+", pdgid=211, mass=139.57061 ± 0.00024 MeV>
>>> Particle.findall('pi')[0]
<Particle: name="pi0", pdgid=111, mass=134.9770 ± 0.0005 MeV>

You can search for the properties using keyword arguments, which include pdg_name, name, mass, width, charge, three_charge, anti_flag, rank, I, J, G, P, quarks, status, mass_upper, mass_lower, width_upper, and width_lower. You can pass a callable or an exact match for any property. The argument particle can be set to True/False, as well, to limit the search to particles or antiparticles. You can also build the search yourself with the first positional argument, which accepts a callable that is given the particle object itself. If the first positional argument is a string, that will match against the particle's name. The alternative .find() requires only one match returned by the search, and will throw an error if more or less than one match is found.

Here are possible sophisticated searches:

>>> # Print out all particles with asymmetric decay width uncertainties
>>> ps = Particle.findall(lambda p: p.width_lower != p.width_upper)
>>> for p in ps:
...     print(, p.pdgid, p.width_lower, p.width_upper)
>>> # Find all antiparticles with 'Omega' in the name
>>> Particle.findall('Omega', particle=False)   # several found
>>> # Find all antiparticles of name=='Omega'
>>> Particle.findall(name='Omega', particle=False)  # none found
>>> # Find all antiparticles of pdg_name=='Omega'
>>> Particle.findall(pdg_name='Omega', particle=False)  # only 1, of course
[<Particle: name="Omega~+", pdgid=-3334, mass=1672.5 ± 0.3 MeV>]
>>> # Find all neutral beauty hadrons
>>> Particle.findall(lambda p: p.pdgid.has_bottom and p.charge==0)
>>> # Find all strange mesons with c*tau > 1 meter
>>> from hepunits.units import meter
>>> Particle.findall(lambda p: p.pdgid.is_meson and p.pdgid.has_strange and p.width > 0 and p.ctau > 1 * meter, particle=True)
[<Particle: name="K(L)0", pdgid=130, mass=497.611 ± 0.013 MeV>,
 <Particle: name="K+", pdgid=321, mass=493.677 ± 0.016 MeV>]

Once you have a particle, any of the properties can be accessed, along with several methods. Though they are not real properties, you can access is_name_barred, and spin_type. You can also .invert() a particle.

There are lots of printing choices for particles: describe(), programmatic_name, latex_name, html_name, HTML printing outs in notebooks, and of course repr and str support.

You can get the .pdgid from a particle, as well. Sorting particles will put lowest abs(PDGID) first.

Particle literals provide (Particle class) aliases for the most common particles, with easily recognisable names. For example:

>>> from particle.particle import literals as lp
>>> lp.pi_plus
<Particle: name="pi+", pdgid=211, mass=139.57061 ± 0.00024 MeV>
>>> from particle.particle.literals import Lambda_b_0
>>> Lambda_b_0
<Particle: name="Lambda(b)0", pdgid=5122, mass=5619.60 ± 0.17 MeV>
>>> Lambda_b_0.J

You can quickly search for particles from the command line with (note: quotes may be used/needed but only double quotes work as expected on Windows):

$ python -m particle search "K*0"
<Particle: name="K*(892)0", pdgid=313, mass=895.55 ± 0.20 MeV>
<Particle: name="K*(1680)0", pdgid=30313, mass=1718 ± 18 MeV>
<Particle: name="K*(1410)0", pdgid=100313, mass=1421 ± 9 MeV>

If you only select one particle, either by a search or by giving the PDGID number, you can see more information about the particle:

$ python -m particle search 311
Name: K0             ID: 311          Latex: $K^{0}$
Mass  = 497.611 ± 0.013 MeV
Width = -1.0 MeV
Q (charge)        = 0       J (total angular) = 0.0      P (space parity) = -
C (charge parity) = ?       I (isospin)       = 1/2      G (G-parity)     = ?
    SpinType: SpinType.PseudoScalar
    Quarks: dS
    Antiparticle name: K~0 (antiparticle status: Barred)

Advanced: Loading custom tables

You can control the particle data tables if you so desire. You can append a new data table using the following syntax:

>>> from particle import Particle
>>> Particle.load_table('new_particles.csv', append=True)

You can also replace the particle table entirely with append=False (the default).

Advanced: Conversion

You can convert and update the particle tables with the utilities in particle.particle.convert. This requires the pandas package, and is only tested with Python 3. Run the following command for more help:

$ python3 -m particle.particle.convert --help
You can’t perform that action at this time.