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Improved equation display for our articles is made possible by using MathJax, an open source JavaScript display engine for mathematics that works in all modern browsers. Because it is JavaScript driven, it does not require the reader to download and install any plugin.

MathJax uses the MathML or TeX stored within the XML of an article, and uses modern CSS and web fonts instead of images, so that equations scale with the surrounding text at all zoom levels. If MathML or TeX is available, MathJax will be used to render the math by default.

Scaling the page when equations are delivered as graphics causes pixelation, and the image becomes difficult to read. This image shows the normal and zoomed view of an equation displayed as a graphic:

Scaling with MathJax enabled, however, allows for all math to scale at the same zoom rate as the text. The image below shows a MathJax rendered equation at standard and zoomed views (please note, this is actually a screenshot, and is therefore an image):

The reader has the option to turn MathJax off or on using a toggle switch.

Other benefits of using MathJax include:

  • Copy and paste: lets readers copy equations from articles into Word and LaTeX documents, science blogs, research wikis, calculation software such as Maple, Mathematica and more.
  • Accessibility: compatible with screenreaders used by people with vision disabilities, and the Zoom feature allows all readers to see small details such as scripts, primes and hats.

MathJax is supported in most modern browsers, including Chrome, Firefox and Safari. If you would prefer to view our site without using MathJax, you can disable it by:

  • Unticking the MathJax box; the page will refresh to show graphics instead of the MathML
  • Right clicking an equation to manually select HTML‐CSS as the renderer: