I'm pretty ignorant regarding neutron and nuclear transport modelling, but i'm interested in trying to pursue it for a particular pet project. It regards modelling of nuclear reactions like those required for NERVA-like rockets or this one.

I would appreciate any references or some explanations of the required approximations for the models required to compute neutron transport that i would have to take in consideration for this exercise.

  • $\begingroup$ As per the FAQ, writing such a code would be off-topic, and better on SciComp. As far as I know we don't have a policy for a reference request on comutational physics, so I'm not going to close this. That said, if we can take the lack of answers to your earlier questions on the subject as indicative, this is a cutting edge project and you are likely to have to do more than a little new coding. $\endgroup$ – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Jan 12 '13 at 17:56
  • $\begingroup$ @dmckee, i'm not worried by the lack of answers: for me the reward of using this site is about making good questions and leaving somewhat-persistent reference for them. If good answers come up, so much the better, but since i pride myself of doing high-quality questions, i understand and expect that matching-quality answers take more than a while to come by. $\endgroup$ – lurscher Jan 12 '13 at 18:03
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think that the lack of answers on the earlier post means that you won't get answer here. Rather that the chance of one tool being able to do the whole job is low. There is still the chance that you will learn about several tools which each can cover large parts of the problem...which you will then have to stitch together. For instance, geant could do the nuclear physics (neutron propgation and capture) just fine, but it does not know about time (or continuous spacial) varing properties of materials nor does it feedback information about heating in a simple way. $\endgroup$ – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Jan 12 '13 at 18:10
  • $\begingroup$ @dmckee Aren't software recommendation questions off-topic? This isn't a question about a particular software of interest only to physicists, nor is it a question on how to use/write one (which would go somewhere else). It's just looking for a recommendation, which if treated like books (and based on my question, journals), would be off-topic no? $\endgroup$ – tpg2114 Jan 13 '13 at 1:23
  • $\begingroup$ @dmckee I really do think this is not a reference request, but rather a recommendation request, and that makes it off topic. So I have closed it for now. But if this is contentious, we can of course reopen it. $\endgroup$ – David Z Jan 13 '13 at 2:23

Two books to get you started in general computational radiation transport:

Computational Methods of Neutron Transport, written by E.E. Lewis, edited by W.F., Jr. Miller, ISBN 0-89448-452-4

Monte Carlo Particle Transport Methods: Neutron and Photon Calculations, written by Ivan Lux and Laszlo Koblinger, ISBN 0-8493-6074-9

The supporting materials for the MCNP (Monte Carlo N-Particle) transport code maintained by Los Alamos National Laboratory may also be useful: http://mcnp.lanl.gov/

These references are not targeted at nuclear rockets, instead they focus on the basic principles of computational radiation transport. Application to nuclear rockets, or any other particular system, is just a matter of constructing the right set of assumptions and constraints to answer your specific question.


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