Golosio, Bruno and Schoonjans, Tom and Brunetti, Antonio and Oliva, Piernicola and Masala, Giovanni Luca Christian (2014) Monte Carlo simulation of X-ray imaging and spectroscopy experiments using quadric geometry and variance reduction techniques. Computer physics communications, Vol. 185 (3), p. 1044-1052. ISSN 0010-4655. eISSN 1879-2944. Article.
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The simulation of X-ray imaging experiments is often performed using deterministic codes, which can be relatively fast and easy to use. However, such codes are generally not suitable for the simulation of even slightly more complex experimental conditions, involving, for instance, first-order or higher-order scattering, X-ray fluorescence emissions, or more complex geometries, particularly for experiments that combine spatial resolution with spectral information. In such cases, simulations are often performed using codes based on the Monte Carlo method. In a simple Monte Carlo approach, the interaction position of an X-ray photon and the state of the photon after an interaction are obtained simply according to the theoretical probability distributions. This approach may be quite inefficient because the final channels of interest may include only a limited region of space or photons produced by a rare interaction, e.g., fluorescent emission from elements with very low concentrations. In the field of X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, this problem has been solved by combining the Monte Carlo method with variance reduction techniques, which can reduce the computation time by several orders of magnitude. In this work, we present a C++ code for the general simulation of X-ray imaging and spectroscopy experiments, based on the application of the Monte Carlo method in combination with variance reduction techniques, with a description of sample geometry based on quadric surfaces. We describe the benefits of the object-oriented approach in terms of code maintenance, the flexibility of the program for the simulation of different experimental conditions and the possibility of easily adding new modules. Sample applications in the fields of X-ray imaging and X-ray spectroscopy are discussed.
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