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nptool has moved away. The repository has been transferred to the gitlab in2p3 service for more consistency. The entire repository has been cloned, you can now use the repository at :

for more information, contact Adrien Matta at


NPTool, which stands for Nuclear Physics Tool, is an open source and freely distributed data analysis and Monte Carlo simulation package for low-energy nuclear physics experiments. The NPTool package aims to offer an unified framework for preparing and analysing complex experiments, making an efficient use of Geant4 and ROOT toolkits. If you wish to contribute, contact Adrien MATTA at

Usefull links:

  • nptool website : Find the latest informations on the framework
  • nptool manual : Find a more detail manual on how to install and run the framework


  1. Getting the code
  2. Using git
  3. Downloading from Git Hub
  4. Setup
  5. Requirements
  6. Preparing the build
  7. Building NPLib
  8. Building NPSimulation
  9. Benchmarks and Examples
  10. Benchmarks
  11. Examples
  12. Tricks

Getting the code

Using git

The recommended method to obtain the source code is to use git. This is an easy way to access the last version of the code. First make sure you have git installed. If not, use your package manager to get it. Then go to the directory where you want to install the NPTool package and do:

$ git clone

This will create the nptool folder with the latest version of NPTool.

Downloading from Git Hub

Alternatively, you can browse the following page, and click the Download ZIP button on the right side of the page. Then, unzip the archive at the desire location



NPTool components are compiled and installed using the CMake build system, so be sure to have a working CMake installation before starting.

In order to compile NPLib, the NPTool core libraries, ROOT 5 (tested with 5.34) or 6 should be installed. This is sufficient to compile NPLib and any analysis project.

In order to compile NPSimulation, a recent installation of Geant4 (tested with version 9.6 and 10.1) is needed. If you want to use GDML support in NPTool, Geant4 should be installed with GDML support.

Preparing the build

To set the needed environment variables, PATH and LD_LIBRARY_PATH, and aliases, source the following script doing:

source <pathname>/nptool/

where <pathname> is the location where you unpacked the NPTool package. Then, restart your terminal.

You should typically add the previous command line to your .profile, .bashrc or .tcshrc file.

Building NPLib

NPLib is the core of the NPTool package, holding most of the actual code. It is made of a collection of stand alone C++ classes that can be used in programs and macros.

First, go to the NPLib folder by using the command:

$ npl 

In order to prepare the compilation CMake must be run to generate the Makefile. If no arguments are given to CMake, all detectors will be compiled. If you wish to limit the number of detectors to be compiled, specify the detector folder name (respecting the case). Note that more than one detector can be specified.

All detectors compiled:

$ cmake ./ 

OR some detectors compiled:

$ cmake ./ -DETLIST="DetFolder1 DetFolder2"

Then, the whole NPLib can be compiled with n threads using:

$ make -jn install

If you wish to recompile in order to get support for more detectors, do:

$ nptool-cleaner
$ cmake ./ -DETLIST="DetFolder1 DetFolder2 ..."
$ make -jn install

If you have google ninja build installed you can alternatively ask CMake to generate the file:

$ cmake -GNinja ./
$ ninja install

Compilation using Ninja is faster than using make.

Building NPSimulation

This part of the package relies on Geant4 to perform Monte Carlo simulation. NPLib needs first to be compiled and configured correctly before NPSimulation can be compiled. The compilation is done as follow:

$ nps
$ cmake ./
$ make -jn install

This will produce the npsimulation executable. For a detailed list of the available input flags and their meaning, run the following command:

$ npsimulation -h

Benchmarks and Examples

You need to download additional files to be able to run the benchmarks and the examples. In the $NPTOOL directory, do the following:

$ git clone


Benchmarks play an important role to check the installation or upgrade integrity of the NPTool package. They are also useful for comparing CPU performances on different computer platforms. So far two benchmarks are included in the NPTool package. The first one (cats) analyses experimental data from a beam tracker detector using the npanalysis facility, while the second one (gaspard) runs a silicon array simulation using the npsimulation facility and display some basics control spectra. Each benchmark produces figures that can be compared to the reference figures provided in NPTool. These two benchmarks cover all the core functionalities of NPTool's framework.

The first benchmark can be run with the following commands:

$ cd $NPTOOL/Benchmarks/cats
$ npanalysis -D benchmark_cats.detector -C calibration.txt -R RunToTreat.txt -O benchmark_cats

For the second benchmark do:

$ cd $NPTOOL/Benchmarks/gaspard
$ npsimulation -D benchmark_gaspard.detector -E 132Sndp_benchmark.reaction -O benchmark_gaspard -B batch.mac

In both cases, the results can be displayed and compared to reference results using the following command:

$ root -l ShowResult.C


With respect to benchmarks, examples deal with more complex analysis cases where several detectors are present. In this context, physical information resulting from the combination of information from several detectors can be calculated.

As a standardized test case, you can run Example1 by the following command:

$ npsimulation -D Example1.detector -E Example1.reaction -O Example1

This will open the npsimulation GUI (if you are using Qt) or the prompt terminal. In either case events can be generated using the following command:

> run/beamOn/ 10000
> exit

This will simulate the 11Li(d,3He)10He->8He+n+n reaction and produce an output ROOT file located in $NPTOOL/Outputs/Simulation/Example1.root.

The Example1.detector file located in $NPTOOL/Inputs/DetectorConfiguration and the Example1.reaction file located in $NPTOOL/Inputs/EventGenerator are self explanatory thanks to the use of understandable tokens.

The simulated file can be analysed using the following commands:

$ npp Example1
$ cmake ./
$ make -jn
$ npanalysis -R RunToTreat.txt -O Example1

This will produce an analysed tree located in the $NPTOOL/Outputs/Analysis/Example1.root file. Note that since the input files needed by npsimulation are stored in the ROOT file, npanalysis use these automatically as inputs.

The results can be displayed using the command:

$ root -l ShowResult.C

You should be able to see the light particle identification, the light particle kinematical line and the associated excitation energy spectrum fitted by a gaussian.

The Example1 input files and NPAnalysis project are simple basis that can be used to start doing your own simulations.


  • npsimulation and npanalysis facilities can be run from any directory.
  • npanalysis looks in the current directory for an analysis library (libNPAnalysis) to load and use. If not present, the analysis is limited to build the PhysicsTree.
  • To perform a quick analysis of the last MOnte Carlo simulation, do:
npanalysis --last-sim 

Any additional flag can be used

  • npsimulation can be used in batch mode (with no UI) if the user provides a Geant4 macro file specified with the -B flag
npsimulation -D Example1.detector -E Example1.reaction -B path/to/macro.mac -O FileName
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