In addition to fixed-format data files that have been available for many years, the Particle Data Group (PDG) is developing a new API (Application Programming Interface) to access the data published in the Review of Particle Physics.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS API IS STILL UNDER DEVELOPMENT AND CURRENTLY ONLY AVAILABLE AS A BETA RELEASE FOR TESTING.
The new API provides three tools for accessing PDG data in machine-readable format. These three tools are aimed at different use cases. They are:
a REST API,
a Python API, and
downloadable PDG database files.
The REST API allows retrieving
the data presented by pdgLive
in JSON format
without installing any PDG-specific software.
JSON (beta) are present on pdgLive pages where data can be downloaded. An example of
such a page is the
pdgLive summary page of the charged pion.
The Python API, implemented in Python package
provides a high-level API for programmatically accessing PDG data.
For most users, this will be the easiest and most versatile method for programmatically accessing PDG data.
The PDG database file allows downloading the PDG data as a single file in SQLite format that can be queried with SQL using any of the SQLite libraries that are available for many programming languages. This option is intended for users who wish to incorporate PDG data into their own software for an application, where the Python API is not suitable (e.g. because their software is written in a different programming language such as C++), and who have the necessary technical expertise to correctly query the data.
Internally, these tools use digital object identifiers termed PDG Identifiers in order to reference specific items of PDG data. In most cases, the user does not need to know specific PDG Identifiers and can instead either navigate to the quantity of interest in pdgLive or start with customary references such as Monte Carlo particle numbers or ASCII particle names.
The following chapters provide details on PDG Identifiers and on how to use the different tools for programmatic access to PDG data.
The PDG API is still under development and is currently only available as a beta release. See Development status for an overview of what features are already available and what is still being developed.