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McStas 2.5 released!

Date: 13/12/2018

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Changes in McStas v.2.5, December 12th, 2018

McStas 2.5 is the seventh release in the 2.x series and fixes various issues with McStas 2.4.1, plus many new developments. McStas 2.5 is also the 20th anniversary release of McStas – 1.0 was released in October 1998!

Thanks to all contributors of components, instruments etc.! This is what Open Source and McStas is all about!

Our install docs are now available on the McCode GitHub page at

Fixes of issues from last release:
A number of issues from 2.4.1 were corrected, see the relevant GitHub issues for details:

Plus lots of work in general:

• As for the earlier few releases the default set of tools are Python-based and developed by Jakob Garde, DTU.
• The Perl ones are still around as a backup solution, handy for those that prefer “the oldschool way”
• See—Python-tool-set for usage
• On Unix platforms, the Perl tools are accessible by adding .pl to the wanted tool ( etc.)
• On Windows, the Perl tools are accessible by adding -pl to the wanted tool (mcgui-pl etc.)
BUT: Please use the Python tools and provide feedback rather than sticking with the Perl! :-)

Feature developments:
• mcgui: For a quick visualisation of your instrument, simply useSimulation -> Display-2D and Display-3D (will use the default instrument parameters)
• mcgui: The run-dialogue now gives quick access to all mcdisplay and mcplot utilities as comboboxes
• mcdoc: We now provide a mcdoc utility based on Python

• Our Windows release is finally 64bit. Also further prepackages GSL for use e.g. with Multilayer_sample.comp from R. Dalgliesh (ISIS)
• If you want to use NeXus and / or MPI on Windows, please ensure to install Strawberry perl!

• NCrystal library from T. Kittelmann (ESS) and X.X. Cai (DTU Nutech/ESS) is distributed with McStas on Unix platforms. To use it, carry out the below steps:
• mcstas:~/NCryst$ mcstas-2.5-environment
• mcstas:~/NCryst$ source $MCSTAS/ncrystal/
• mcstas:~/NCryst$ ncrystal_preparemcstasdir
• mcstas:~/NCryst$ cp $MCSTAS/examples/NCrystal_example_mcstas.instr .
• mcstas:~/NCryst$ mcrun -c NCrystal_example_mcstas.instr
MCPL library from the same authors now included at v. 1.2.3

• Single_crystal_inelastic.comp is a development from Duc Le (ISIS) and presents our attempt at a general, inelastic single crystal component. iFit can be used to generate its input, see
• E_4PI.comp is a monitor also from Duc Le, used to illustrate the output of his inelastic component in the instrument Test_Single_crystal_inelastic.instr
• Magnon_bcc.comp is new inelastic component from K. Lefmann (KU), used in Test_Magnon_bcc_TAS.instr and Test_Magnon_bcc_2D.instr
• Isotropic_Sqw.comp from E. Farhi has recieved a number of important edits, including correctiono of a bug found by S. Bellissmia (CNR) relating to detailed balance
• PowderN received a bugfix from M. Bertelsen (KU) and a set of focusing patches from J. Saroun (NPI)
NPI_tof_dhkl_detector.comp and NPI_tof_theta_monitor.comp are new monitor components from J. Saroun (NPI), used in his model of the ESS BEER instrument, see below
• Guide_multichannel.comp is a new component from J. Saroun (NPI), based on Guide_channeled.comp. It allows to simulate bi-spectral extraction optics.
• Sqq_w_monitor.comp is a development from P. Willendrup (DTU) and is a “scattering plane” monitor that outputs a set of energy-slices over a (qh,qk) reciprocal space plane, used in Test_Magnon_bcc_2D.instr
• Pol_guide_mirror.comp is a development from E. Knudsen (DTU) which among other use cases allows to simulate a so-called “frame overlap mirror” as envisioned for multiple ESS instruments
• Pol_Bfield.comp from E. Knudsen (DTU) has been updated to allow more flexible geometry and “rotatable” tabulated field descriptions. It replaces Pol_simpleBfield which is now in obsolete.
• Absorber.comp received a bugfix thanks to Artur Glavic (PSI)
• FermiChopper.comp had a long-standing issue when using supermirror coatings in the slit-package which is now fixed, thanks to Ryoichi Kajimoto (J-PARC)
• All monitors can now suppress file-output when their standard input parameter “nowritefile” is true. The idea is to be able to suppress (some) output at runtime, e.g. in simulations with lots of monitors.

ESS_Testbeamline_HZB_V20.instr from Alaa Al-Falahat and Robin Woracek (ESS/HZB) is a model of the ESS test- beamline in Berlin
ESS_BEER_MCPL.instr from J. Saroun (NPI) is a model of the ESS BEER secondary spectrometer. It uses MCPL input calculated via SIMRES
• BTsimple.instr from P. Willendrup (DTU) shows a simple method to calculate brillance transfer through a guide system
ILL_H142_D11.instr and ILL_H142_D33.instr from E. Farhi (ILL) are models of the optics in the two well-known ILL SANS instruments
ILL_H5_new.instr from E. Farhi (ILL) is a model of the ILL IN5 spectrometer after the guide upgrade in 2011
ILL_IN5_Spots.instr modified byP. Willendrup (DTU) is a model of the ILL IN5 spectrometer with multiple resolution-calculation options
ISIS_IMAT.instr from G. Burca (ISIS) is a model of the ISIS IMAT engineering-beamline
ISIS_SANS2d_Mantid.instr from T. R. Nielsen (ESS) is a model of the ISIS SANS2d instrument with sample and a Mantid output possibility
ISIS_TOSCA_preupgrade.instr and ISIS_TOSCA_preupgrade_Mantid.instr from P. Willendrup and S. Mukhopadhyay, based on an earlier model by M.Zanetti are models of the TOSCA spectrometer at ISIS
• NCrystal_example_mcstas.instr by X.X. Cai (DTU/ESS) is used to illustrate the use of the NCrystal library in McStas
• Test_DiskChoppers.instr by P. Willendrup (DTU) compares the use of 2 DiskChoppers with one MultiDiskChopper
• Test_Magnon_bcc_TAS.instr from K. Lefmann (KU) and Test_Magnon_bcc_2D.instr P. Willendrup (DTU) illustrate the use of the new Magnon_bcc.comp
• Test_Single_crystal_inelastic.instr from Duc Le (ISIS) is a test instrument for Single_crystal_inelastic.comp
• Test_Pol_Guide_mirror.instr from E. Knudsen (DTU) is a test instrument for Pol_guide_mirror.comp
• Test_focus.instr from T. Weber (ILL) compares focusing by Single_crystal and Monochromator_curved

We hope you will enjoy this 20th anniversary release!!!

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