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Alternative to MCNP for modeling alpha particles?

  1. Dec 7, 2018 #1
    I am a masters student in the UK. For my project I have to monitor the efficiency of zinc sulphide detectors for monitoring alpha particles in liquid solutions. I need to model things like the proximity of the detector to the liquid, the size of the detector and the thickness of the light-tight foil. The models should be fairly basic as the thesis isn't very long (10,000 words).

    My university provided me with MCNP 4C, but it cannot model alpha particles. I have applied for a licence for version 6.2 but it may take months, so I am looking for alternatives.

    I have been told about Geant4 and SRIM/TRIM. I would like to know how difficult it is to learn either of these programmes? I am a novice programmer, but know some basics of MCNP.

    As Geant4 is written in C++, will it be too difficult for me to get up and running in a few weeks?
    Does SRIM/TRIM have the capabilities for what I need to do?

    Thank you in advance
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 12, 2018 #2
    Thanks for the thread! This is an automated courtesy bump. Sorry you aren't generating responses at the moment. Do you have any further information, come to any new conclusions or is it possible to reword the post? The more details the better.
  4. Dec 14, 2018 #3


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    This might help answer one's questions.

    AlfaMC: a fast alpha particle transport Monte Carlo code
    Luis Peralta, Alina Louro
    These days, an aspiring engineer who will do programming (e.g., development of modeling and simulation tools) should probably learn Fortran and C++, and a scripting language like Python. These I hear most often in discussions involving engineering calculations and data processing.
  5. Dec 15, 2018 #4
    For Geant4, I'd suggest trying some of the tutorials located here:


    and see how it goes. A few weeks sounds optimistic, but I would also look over the examples packaged with Geant4 and see if there is one that is close to your task. Then you can just modify it to what you need.

    I'd second Astronuc's suggestion with regards to Fortran, C++, and Python. I've used pretty much only those three languages throughout my work in nuclear science and engineering.
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