UK Monte Carlo User group MCNEG 2013 meeting (Ipswich)

UK users of Monte Carlo radiation transport codes met at the University of Suffolk in Ipswich on May 28-29. The group comprises of physicists who use Monte Carlo transport codes in many varied applications; this year we had representatives from the medical, defence, academia and radiation protection sectors discussing their work.

FLUKA had a good showing. Alfredo Ferrari (CERN), one of the FLUKA developers and a keynote speaker, described recent developments and progress with hadrontherapy, and Ihsan al-Affan (Swansea) described a comparison between EGS and FLUKA for simulating photon backscatter in the 250kEv to 2MeV energy range.

The other invited speaker was Zine El-Abidine Chaoui (Setif, Algeria) who spoke about the modelling of low-energy electrons. Zine described the KATRIN spectrometer that his team are using to measure the mass of the neutrino from the fine detail of the tritium beta decay spectrum. Zine’s slide of the spectrometer being delivered through the suburban streets of Karlsruhe was nominated ‘Slide of the meeting’, and deservedly so.

KATRIN spectrometer

A close runner up had to be Ian Adsley’s (Nuvia) images of a submarine that sank in the Barents sea while under tow in a gale. Nuvia carried out a survey to measure leakage from the reactor.

Medical applications were well represented. David Roberts (Elekta) described the use of BEAMnrc and other codes in linac design and Anthony Carver (Clatterbridge) described backscatter simulations of the Papillon, a brachytherapy treatment machine for contact irradiation of the rectum. Emiliano Spezi (Cardiff) described cone beam CT dose modelling, which he is introducing into the dose volume histograms used to clinically evaluate plans.

Quantum dot detector simulations were described by Peter Hobson (Brunel University). His team used the CASINO and PENELOPE codes to look at energy deposition from 60Co sources.

The computational aspects of parallel processing codes were described by Gavin Crowe (AWE). His MPI engine handles the sharing of particles to ensure that no individual processor has to cold the entire mesh.

Colin Baker (Clatterbridge) described a Monte Carlo teaching tool that he built using MATLAB to teach the principles of radiation physics as part of their MSc course.

Visual MC (Baker and Nahum)

Richard Hugtenburg (Swansea) discussed simulating protons using FLUKA in order to perform microdosimetry. The detectors he uses are were gold coated optical fibres.

In the evening we were entertained by ‘Bill Ceilidh and the Hobbits’ and ‘Blythe Power’. The preponderance of male delegates limited the number of dancers, but Jerry’s girlfriend (Blythe Power) made up for these low statistics with her exuberance.

In 2014 we meet at Clatterbridge in the Wirrall, and you are warmly invited. See for details.

Henry Lawrence

Chair, MCNEG 2013