:: 11. 6. 2008 ::

version 2.6 released

:: 25. 2. 2008 ::

version 2.5 released

:: 22. 6. 2007 ::

SPICE 2 moved to

:: 23. 5. 2007 ::

SPICE 2 site launched

frequently asked questions

Q: What is SPICE?

A: SPICE is a Particle-In-Cell code, 2D in space, 3D in velocity, designed for edge plasma simulations.

Q: And what does that mean???

A: If you are unsure on some of the terms concerning plasma physics or comptutational physics, try to read some of the documentation section.


A: SPICE stands for Sheath Particle In CELL, which pretty much describes its area of operation. Its not the only thing under the Sun called SPICE, so if your're actually looking for Society for the Promotion of Indian Culture and Ethos, you are digging the wrong hill. We also do not make indian food!

Q: SPICE 2? Where is SPICE 1?

A: SPICE 1 was a precursor of SPICE 2 with limited scope of application. SPICE code is available to the public starting by version 2.

Q:Who wrote SPICE?

A: The first version was created by Dr. R. Dejarnac (IPP CAS CZ) under the guidance of Dr. J.P. Gunn (CEA Cadarache, France). Than M. Komm (IPP CAS CZ) took the flag and continued the developement starting by version 0.3. Currently R. Dejarnac works on a version of SPICE in cylindrical coordinates and J. Gunn supervises both of us. The direct Poisson solver was implented with great help of Mgr. Z. Pekarek (KFPP MFF-UK, CZ)

Q: In which language is SPICE written?

A:SPICE is written in fortran 90. The developement is done using the Intel fortran compiler compilation should work on the PGI compiler too. The code uses some external libraries - namely the NAG library, UMPFACK, GotoBLAS and OpenMPI. SPICE works fine on so far tested UNIX platforms supposing you get the libraries working.

Q:Is SPICE fast?

A: That's certainly one of its ambitions. SPICE implements the direct Poisson solver, which is by an order of magnitude faster than traditional iterative solvers. SPICE is also paralelized - designed to run effectively on up to some 40 processors (this has never been tested though). So its ready for big tasks!

Q:What was already done using SPICE?

A: The main purpose of the developement was to investigate the behavior of edge hot plasma near the gaps in divertor plates. Some simulations were also done for the modeling of RFA slit and investigation of anomal transport in the ball pen probe. The cylindrical version of SPICE will be used for calibration of the segmented tunnel probe.

Q: How do I look at the output of SPICE? What is .mat anyway?

A: SPICE produces MATLAB binary files. These can be obvously inspected in MATLAB but there is a bunch of software that support them too. A good example is an opensource program called R ( .

Q:Can I contribute to the developement of SPICE?

A: Sure, you're mostly welcome! Just let me know what do you want to work on :)

Q: I can't see any license, is SPICE free to use?

A: That's exactly what it is. Licences are teething and we have no lawyer on board , so in short - do whatever you wish with the code, if you make it far enough to publish your results, it would be kind to mention the SPICE team :o)

Q: Does SPICE have a graphical interface?

A: No it doesn't. It is designed to run on remote UNIX machines, so it is text only. However, the graphical interface is in the TODO list.

Q: So what is the difference between SPICE and Xoopic?

A: Xoopic is a PIC code developed at the Berkeley University. It is much more general than SPICE but also much slower. SPICE is designed for plasma-wall interaction, running by at least one order of magnitude faster than Xoopic. It also handles correctly the particle injection, which is a teething problem in Xoopic.

Q:I tried to use your code and now theres smoke all over my computer! What do I do?

A: Sounds like you really do have a problem, perhaps the code was too hot for your old raty machine? Now get a fire extinguisher before it spreads all over your house, as it may, eventualy, harm your dog.

Q: I still have some unanswered questions!

A: Well, post them in the forum or send me an email at