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Title: Kassiopeia: a modern, extensible C++ particle tracking package

The Kassiopeia particle tracking framework is an object-oriented software package using modern C++ techniques, written originally to meet the needs of the KATRIN collaboration. Kassiopeia features a new algorithmic paradigm for particle tracking simulations which targets experiments containing complex geometries and electromagnetic fields, with high priority put on calculation efficiency, customizability, extensibility, and ease-of-use for novice programmers. To solve Kassiopeia's target physics problem the software is capable of simulating particle trajectories governed by arbitrarily complex differential equations of motion, continuous physics processes that may in part be modeled as terms perturbing that equation of motion, stochastic processes that occur in flight such as bulk scattering and decay, and stochastic surface processes occurring at interfaces, including transmission and reflection effects. This entire set of computations takes place against the backdrop of a rich geometry package which serves a variety of roles, including initialization of electromagnetic field simulations and the support of state-dependent algorithm-swapping and behavioral changes as a particle's state evolves. Thanks to the very general approach taken by Kassiopeia it can be used by other experiments facing similar challenges when calculating particle trajectories in electromagnetic fields. It is publicly available at
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  1. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States). Laboratory for Nuclear Science
  2. Karlsruhe Inst. of Technology (KIT) (Germany). Inst. of Experimental Nuclear Physics (IEKP)
  3. Karlsruhe Inst. of Technology (KIT) (Germany). Inst. for Nuclear Physics (IKP)
  4. Westfaelische Wilhelms-Universitaet, Muenster (Germany). Inst. fuer Kernphysik
  5. Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC (United States). Dept. of Physics and Astronomy; Triangle Universities Nuclear Lab., Durham, NC (United States)
  6. Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States). Center for Experimental Nuclear Physics and Astrophysics
  7. Karlsruhe Inst. of Technology (KIT) (Germany). Inst. for Nuclear Physics (IKP); Wigner Research Inst. for Physics, Budapest (Hungary)
  8. Munich and Technische Univ. of Munich (Germany). Max Planck Inst. for Physics
  9. Yale Univ., New Haven, CT (United States). Dept. of Physics
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
FG02-97ER41041; FG02-06ER41420; FG02-06ER-41420
Published Article
Journal Name:
New Journal of Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 19; Journal Issue: 5; Journal ID: ISSN 1367-2630
IOP Publishing
Research Org:
Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States); University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Nuclear Physics (NP) (SC-26)
Country of Publication:
United States
72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS; simulation, software, electromagnetic fields, particle tracking,C++
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1393575; OSTI ID: 1395074