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!