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Boolean Operators
'AND', 'AND NOT', and 'OR'
Metacharacters
The bad news: In general, punctation and other non-alphanumeric characters are not indexed and cannot currently be searched for. Currently some interesting characters like (,), and = are not searchable. Regrettably, this means that one cannot search for SU(3) or c=1 at this time (but searching for 'c' AND '1' will give hits on 'c = 1').
The good news: The characters ^,_,{,},+, and - are indexed. For example, searching for K^+ or nu_e will work - be aware that authors are not always consistent in how super- and subscripts are presented.
Non-indexed characters are stripped out from the search query.
Stemming
Most fields stem words automatically (searching for superconductors will match superconducting)
Wild card truncation
Wild card (*) can only be used anywhere but at the beginning of a term (but see author examples below).
Grouping
Grouping can be done with parentheses
Binary Booleans are not associative - parentheses are mandatory if a field has multiple Booleans
First two fields are grouped together in form before third field is added in
Exact phrases
Use double quotes (") - Warning: can be slow (try AND instead)
Hyphenated terms
Hyphens are removed from most phrases (domain-wall becomes domain wall). This is because the use of hyphens is often inconsistent. Hyphens are not removed from archive and category names, nor are they removed when it would result in a single letter being left over: c-theorem remains hypenated and is searchable. Try searching for domain AND wall or for "domain wall". The latter is more accurate, but can be much slower than the former
Example author searches
T Bhattacharya
T Bhattacharya AND NOT (S R Sharpe OR Rajan Gupta)
'Bhatta*' is OK, but 'T Bhatta*' will not work because initials and '*' cannot be used together
Example journal references
"Phys Rev Lett"
Year searches
'Past Year' overrides individual years
Subject Description
Keywords in the descriptive names of archives and categories
ACM/MSC Class
Covers ACM-class and MSC-class