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.
Even though the approach in the paper focuses on a specific measurement (clumped isotopes) and how to optimize which and how many standards we use, I hope that the problem is general enough that insight can translate to any kind of measurement that relies on machine calibration. I've committed to writing a literate program (plain text interspersed with code chunks) to explain what is going on and to make the simulations one step at a time. I really hope that this is understandable to future collaborators and scientists in my field, but I have not had any code review internally and I also didn't receive any feedback on it from the reviewers. I would love to see if what in my mind represents "reproducible code" is actually reproducible, and to learn what I can improve for future projects!
If all went right, the analysis should be fully reproducible without the need to make any adjustments. The paper aims to find optimal locations for new parkruns, but we were not 100% sure how 'optimal' should be defined. We provide a few examples, but the code was meant to be flexible enough to allow potential decision makers to specify their own, alternative objectives. The spatial data set is also quite interesting and fun to play around with. Cave: The full analysis takes a while to run (~30+ min) and might require >= 8gb ram.
The focus of the project is reproducibility. Here we show the differences to access data compared to similar initiatives: https://ropensci.org/blog/2019/05/09/tradestatistics/. Also, similar projects have obscure parts, while our exposes the code from raw data downloading to dashboard creation.