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.
The direct numerical simulations (DNS) for this paper were conducted using Basilisk (http://basilisk.fr/). As Basilisk is a free software program written in C, it can be readily installed on any Linux machine, and it should be straightforward to then run the driver code to re-produce the DNS from this paper. Given this, the numerical solutions presented in this paper are a result of many high-fidelity simulations, which each took approximately 24 CPU hours running between 4 to 8 cores. Hence the difficulty in reproducing the results should mainly be in the amount of computational resources it would take, so HPC resources will be required. The DNS in this paper were used to validate the presented analytical solutions, as well as extend the results to a longer timescale. Reproducing these numerical results will build confidence in these results, ensuring that they are independent of the system architecture they were produced on.
The method is trained on the data that were available, but it is meant to be re-trainable as soon as new data are published. It would be great to be really sure that even someone else will be able to do it. In case we receive any feedback, we would be really happy to improve our Github repository so as to make the reproduction easier!
This paper shows a fun and interesting simulation result. I find it (of course) very important that our results are reproducible. In this paper, however, we did not include the exact code for these specific simulations, but the results should be reproducible using the code of our previous paper in PLOS Computational Biology (Van Oers, Rens et al. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003774). I am genuinely curious to see if there is sufficient information for the Biophys J paper or if we should have done better. Other people have already successfully built upon the 2014 (PLOS) paper using our code; see e.g., https://journals.aps.org/pre/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevE.97.012408 and https://doi.org/10.1101/701037).