A comparison of total reaction cross section models used in FLUKA, GEANT4 and PHITS
Paper i proceeding, 2012

Understanding the interactions and propagations of high energy protons and heavy ions are essential when trying to estimate the biological effects of Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) and Solar Particle Events (SPE) on personnel on interplanetary missions, and when preparing the construction of a lunar base. To be able to calculate the secondary particles, including neutrons, and to estimate shielding properties of different materials and radiation risks inside complex geometries, particle and heavy ion transport codes are needed. The interactions of the GCR and SPE with matter include many complex properties and many factors influence the calculated results. In all particle and heavy ion transport codes, the probability function that a projectile particle will collide with a nucleus within a certain distance x in the matter depends on the total reaction cross sections, which also scale the calculated partial fragmentation cross sections. It is therefore crucial that accurate total reaction cross section models are used in the transport calculations. FLUKA, GEANT4 and PHITS are three major multi-purpose three-dimensional Monte Carlo particle and heavy ion transport codes widely used for fundamental research, radioprotection, radiotherapy, and space dosimetry. In this paper, a systematic comparison of the total reaction cross section models used as default in these three codes is performed for a variety of systems of importance for space dosimetry, and the need for future improvements and benchmarking against experimental results is discussed. The need for benchmarking and improvements of the partial nuclear reaction and evaporation models, as well as how impact parameter functions, switching time between the dynamical/pre-equilibrium and the de-excitation/evaporation stages, low energy data libraries, etc., influence the final results, is also briefly be discussed. © 2012 IEEE.


Lembit Sihver

Chalmers, Teknisk fysik, Nukleär teknik

M. Lantz

Uppsala universitet

Till T. Böhlen

European Organization for Nuclear Research

Stockholms universitet

Andrea Mairani


A. F. Cerutti

European Organization for Nuclear Research

A. Ferrari

European Organization for Nuclear Research

IEEE Aerospace Conference Proceedings

1095323X (ISSN)

1 - 10 6187014