VEST: Abstract vector calculus simplification in Mathematica. We present a new package, VEST (Vector Einstein Summation Tools), that performs abstract vector calculus computations in Mathematica. Through the use of index notation, VEST is able to reduce three-dimensional scalar and vector expressions of a very general type to a well defined standard form. In addition, utilizing properties of the Levi-Civita symbol, the program can derive types of multi-term vector identities that are not recognized by reduction, subsequently applying these to simplify large expressions. In a companion paper [the authors, “Automation of the guiding center expansion”, Phys. Plasmas 20, Article ID 072105, 34 p. (2013; doi:10.1063/1.4813247)], we employ VEST in the automation of the calculation of high-order Lagrangians for the single particle guiding center system in plasma physics, a computation which illustrates its ability to handle very large expressions. VEST has been designed to be simple and intuitive to use, both for basic checking of work and more involved computations.

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  1. Squire, J.; Burby, J.; Qin, H.: VEST: Abstract vector calculus simplification in Mathematica (2014)