Most electron beam physics is considered in the context of a vacuum, but there are applications to long-range electron beam transmission in air. As particle acceleration sources become more compact, we may have the chance to take particle beams out to the real world. The example provided in the paper describes that of x-ray backscatter detectors, where significantly stronger signals could be achieved by scanning objects with electron beams. This paper forms the basis for a potential new mode of particle-beam research, and it is important to ensure the reproducibility of this work for groups who wish to explore the applications of this new technology.
There are many applications to multi-MeV X-rays. Their penetrative properties make them good for scanning dense objects for industry, and their ionising properties can destroy tumours in radiotherapy. They are also around the energy of nuclear transitions, so they can trigger nuclear reactions to break down nuclear waste into medical isotopes, or to reveal smuggled nuclear-materials for port security. Laser-driven X-ray generation offers a compact and efficient way to create a bright source of X-rays, without having to construct a large synchrotron. To fully utilise this capability, work on optimising the target design and understanding the underlying X-ray mechanisms are essential. The hybrid-PIC code is in a unique position to model the full interaction, so its ease-of-use and reproducibility are crucial for this field to develop.
I suggested a few papers last year. I’m hoping that we’ve improved our reproducibility with this one, this year. We’ve done our best to package it up both in Docker and as an R package. I’d be curious to know what the best way to reproduce it is found to be. Working through vignettes or spinning up a Docker instance. Which is the preferred method?
It uses the drake R package that should make reproducibility of R projects much easier (just run make.R and you're done). However, it does depend on very specific package versions, which are provided by the accompanying docker image.
This paper is reproduced weekly in a docker container on continuous integration, but it is also set up to work via local installs as well. It would be interesting to see if it's reproducible with a human operator who knows nothing of the project or toolchain.