McStas 2.3 released!

Date: 06/04/2016

McStas 2.3 has been released and is ready for download via
Selected, important highligts from the release are listed below. The full list of changes is also available at

1. General:

  • As of McStas 2.3, we support a new binary event file format: “MCPL” (Monte Carlo Particle List), developed by Thomas Kittelmann, ESS. The format aims to allow easier interchange of particle event data between monte carlo codes, and read/write functionality has been implemented for MCNP, Geant4 and McStas.
  • Interoperability with Mantid has been improved, as OFF-based detectors can be used to define detector geometries in Mantid-oriented simulation runs. See for more documentation on the use.

2. Infrastructure:

  • To build McStas from GitHub, you will now need a CMake version >= 3.0
  • At the ILL, Emmanuel Farhi has set up a nice web-service called cif2hkl, which allows to generate Laz/Lau structure data files from CIF files. See
  • A new e-Learning infrastructure for neutron scattering has been set up at Among other things, it features a web-simulator powered by McStas. Once you have signed up, you will have access to many interesting things, among these this “close to complete” list of McStas instruments that can be run on the web:

3. Components:

  • New component SAS_model.comp by Jakob Garde and Torben Nielsen allows to use SAS scattering kernels from within McStas. See also the test instrument templateSasView.instr
  • New components MCPL_input and MCPL_output by Erik Knudsen. Used to read and write MCPL binary event files. See corresponding test instruments below.
  • New component Refractor.comp by Emmanuel Farhi and Bob Cubitt, ILL. Implements a single bulk material shape that can be used as a prism or lens.
  • PerfectCrystal.comp by Markus Appel, ILL / FAU Erlangen-Nuernberg. Perfect crystal component, primarily for use as monochromator and analyzer in backscattering spectrometers. Reflections are simulated using a Darwin, Ewald or Gaussian profile. Doppler movement of the monochromator is supported.
  • MultiDiskChopper.comp by Markus Appel, ILL / FAU Erlangen-Nuernberg. Models a disk chopper with a freely configurable slit pattern. For simple applications, use the DiskChopper component instead.
  • Updated version of Sample_nxs from Mirko Boin (HZB), including more nxs material definitions.
  • Bugfix to ESS_moderator from Jan Saroun (RESTRAX/Simres): missing focusing/direction cosine inserted. Please note that this component does not implement “engineering reality” and currently uses a coordinate system centered on the moderator assembly. An updated moderator component which references the “Moderator focus coordinate system” will be released later during the spring of 2016.

4. Instruments:

  • New test instrument templateSasView.instr, documenting use of SAS_model.comp
  • New test instruments Test_MCPL_input.instr and Test_MCPL_output.instr, documenting use of the MCPL components
  • New test instrument Test_PowderN_Res.instr, demonstrates difference of using 'banana, theta' and 'banana, divergence' in Monitor_nD – and can be used to show influence of sample size on detected line with in diffractometers.
  • New test instrument LLB_6T2.instr by Xavier Fabreges, LLB. Model of the LLB 6T2 thermal single crystal diffractometer.
  • New ILL_IN13.instr by E. Farhi and A. Dennison, ILL. Models the IN13 Thermal neutron backscattering spectrometer.
  • New SAFARI_MPISI.instr by Deon Marais, Necsa. Models the SAFARI instrument 'Materials Probe for Internal Strain Investigations'
  • New SAFARI_PITSI.instr by Deon Marais, Necsa. Models the SAFARI instrument 'Powder Instrument for Transition in Structure Investigations'

IMPORTANT: Please ensure to use our “migration scripts” for McStas 2.0 and 1.12c if you want these to co-exist with 2.3. See

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