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A Monte Carlo Primer, A Practical Approach to Radiation Transport in Two Volumes

Stephen A. Dupree
Distinguished Member of Technical Staff, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, USA
Stanley K. Fraley
Senior Scientist, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, USA



The Monte Carlo method is a powerful tool for solving a wide variety of problems, including the transport of neutral, sub-atomic particles through matter.  The objective of the two volumes of A Monte Carlo Primer is to introduce the reader to the Monte Carlo method for solving practical problems in radiation transport.  The subject is presented using a combination of theoretical development and practical calculations.  Emphasis is placed on how the user can gain confidence in the results of Monte Carlo calculations and in the uncertainty estimates for such results.  Because Monte Carlo methods are closely linked to the use of computers, the reader is taught to convert the theoretical constructs developed in the text into functional software for use on a personal computer.  The books illustrate numerous applications of the method and can serve as both introductory texts and reference works for practitioners.

Example problems are used to provide the reader with an in-depth understanding of the concepts presented and lead to the production of a unique learning tool, a Probabilistic Framework Code (PFC).  This code models in a simple manner the features of production Monte Carlo transport codes.  The code is developed in stages such that every numerical operation is understood, tested, and demonstrated before it is incorporated in the code.  The operations developed include performing random sampling, generating random numbers, implementing geometric models, using variance reduction, tracking particles in a random walk, testing the thoroughness with which the problem phase space is sampled, scoring detectors, and obtaining estimates of the uncertainties in results.  Advanced topics covered include nuclear criticality, correlated sampling, adjoint transport, and neutron thermalization.

Monte Carlo codes can produce highly precise wrong answers.  The probability of this occurring is increased if production codes are run as opaque "black boxes" of software.  The Primer volumes attempt to address this problem by making Monte Carlo into a comprehensible, usable tool for solving practical transport problems.  Volume 1 could be used as a supplement to a general course in radiation transport in which the instructor wishes to include an introduction to Monte Carlo, or could support a one-semester course devoted solely to Monte Carlo transport.  Volume 2 provides supplementary material along with solutions to the exercises in Volume 1.



Descriptions, reviews of A Monte Carlo Primer, A Practical Approach to Radiation Transport


The book can be purchased at a number of locations, including amazon.com.





Descriptions, reviews of A Monte Carlo Primer, Volume 2.


Volume 2 contains solutions to the exercises of the first volume.  Included in this volume is a CD containing all of the Fortran in both volumes.





Errata for A Monte Carlo Primer, A Practical Approach to Radiation Transport


The library routines for the Probabilistic Framework Code (PFC) can be downloaded by clicking on the link to PFCFiles.zip.




Contact the authors at MCP@fraleys.com