STFC-ISIS-5: Making a muon stopping range and degrader calculator
01 Feb 2019







Modelling the stopping range of charged particles in different materials is key to a range of science areas from particle physics to cancer therapy. This is usually done with general purpose Monte Carlo simulation tools such as GEANT4 and SRIM.

At ISIS, muons are used to probe material properties, and this requires a beam of muons to be stopped within the sample. To get the best signal from small or thin samples, metal or polymer foils are used to slow down the muons before they reach the sample. These foils are changed and optimised in the course of experiments, but this can be difficult and time-consuming process.

This project will develop a simple to use calculator for determining the optimal thickness of these foils, taking into account both the sample thickness and other equipment the beam must pass through to reach the sample. We anticipate the program would be written in Python, be calibrated against experimental data and Monte Carlo calculations using GEANT4 or SRIM, and include a simple user interface.​

The student will gain experience of experimental data analysis, running Monte-Carlo simulations, modelling and fitting of data with appropriately chosen mathematical functions. The Python code will be developed and tested under the Mantid analysis framework (see, and the student will gain experience working within a well-established high performance computing environment. A well-designed user interface will be key to the success of this project, and experience gained considering what makes for a good user experience will be of ongoing benefit to the student.

Supervisor: James Lord,