VSim for Plasma Acceleration

Comprehensive solution for novel acceleration techniques.


VSimPA Composite Images

Simulate Laser-plasma and Beam-plasma Interactions for Advanced Acceleration with Advanced Algorithms

VSim for Plasma Acceleration (VSimPA) is a comprehensive software solution for scientists and engineers working on novel acceleration techniques. You can run numerical experiments with ionization injection, colliding pulse injection, and down-ramp injection. VSimPA includes reduced methods like envelope approximation, with or without phase tracking, to model LWFA into depletion without fully resolving the laser wavelength. The controlled dispersion algorithms limit numerical artifacts, accurately calculating wakes and dephasing.

Because VSimPA is capable of conducting large-scale simulations, you can accurately simulate plasma acceleration experiments of any size with negligible numerical uncertainties.

VSimPA's parallel capability can take advantage of the largest supercomputers to enable full-scale modeling.


Run Numerical Experiments with Ionization Injection, Colliding Pulse Injection, and Down-ramp Injection

VSimPA is a flexible, multiplatform, high-performance, parallel software tool for computationally intensive plasma acceleration simulations. VSimPA's computational engine, Vorpal, has been used for multiple scientific discoveries, including the first Dream Beam discoveries, stable GeV acceleration, density-gradient injection, and the more recent Trojan Horse simulations. VSim/Vorpal has roughly 700 citations since it was introduced in the Journal of Computational Physics. VSimPA is the most frequently cited computational application capable of modeling plasma acceleration.


VSim is a flexible, multiplatform, software tool for running computationally intensive electromagnetic, electrostatic, and plasma simulations. VSim easily installs and runs on a variety of systems, including Windows, MacOS, and Linux platforms. Switching between 1, 2, and 3 dimensions is simple with VSim. Work easily in the required dimensionality, whether 1D for the basics, 2D to capture transverse effects, or fully 3D to ensure all geometric effects are included. Design your simulation using a laptop and run it there, or run the simulation on a cluster.

Easy to Upgrade

Each VSim package can be used stand-alone or in combination with one or more other specialty VSim packages. Start with VSim for Basic Physics to model classical physics. Then when you are ready to simulate more advanced physics problems, add the VSim package that does what you need. To model Dielectric Laser Acceleration, upgrade to VSim for Electromagnetics. To model RF power systems, add VSim for Microwave Devices. When you are ready to design plasma acceleration experiments, VSim for Plasma Acceleration can provide fast solutions. For plasma discharges, VSim for Plasma Discharges is available to simultaneously simulate kinetic and collisional effects in plasma.


  • Beam-driven acceleration
  • Laser-driven acceleration
  • Ionization injection/li>
  • Down-ramp injection
  • Ion channel lasing

Simulation examples are included with the product, giving you a jump start for creating your own simulations.

I used VSim to study particle beam space charge induced ionization process. I would like to thank the Tech-X team for their efforts to ease new design and tolerance studies, which helped me get my work published in Physical Review Letters.

—Dr. Roxana Tarkeshian, DESY

Examples Make VSim Easy to Learn and Reduce Time to Results

Reduce your time from experiment to result with VSimPA. With its Visual Setup capabilities, the VSimComposer interface enables the user to set up plasma acceleration simulations quickly and easily. Through a point-and-click interface, the user can select solvers and set boundary conditions.

The set of examples accompanying VSimPA reduces your learning curve and enables you to obtain immediate results in plasma acceleration simulation. Designed for plasma-acceleration researchers in national laboratories or academia, VSimPA provides the necessary algorithms to handle accurate modeling of inherently complex plasma acceleration simulations with efficient parallel capability for very large-scale computations.

Not only is VSimPA the only simulation code that is both fully-featured and commercially available, but VSimPA is supported by the same physicists, mathematicians, and engineers who developed the product. VSimPA comes complete with full simulation input file examples, so there is no need to invest valuable staff or student time developing or expanding a simulation code.

Package Features

  • Advanced beam self-field initialization
  • Beam injection
  • Boosted frame
  • Controlled dispersion
  • Current and Field smoothing
  • Moving window
  • Envelope model, including phase tracking
  • Fast, no-time-counter collisions
  • Field ionizations
  • Impact ionization
  • Laser pulse launching
  • Postprocessing
  • Spatial filtering of fields for noise reduction
  • User defined profiles: functional form or text file input
  • User settable laser pulse launchers
  • User settable plasma density profiles
  • User defined laser pulse profiles

Particle Features

  • Charged and neutral particles
  • Variable and constant weight particles
  • Relativistic particles
  • Higher-order particles
  • Tagged particles for particle tracking
  • Surface charge
  • Variable Weight particles
  • Split/combine macroparticles for weight management
  • Electron and ion induced secondary electron emission
  • Boundary Conditions
    • Collisions
    • Field ionization
  • Controlled dispersion
  • Boundaries:
    • PML
    • MAL
    • Filters

Field and Fluid Features

    • Cold, relativistic fluid
    • Euler fluid
    • Static background gas



Questions? Contact us.



  • Detailed particle physics with more algorithms than other simulation tools
  • Availability of non-proprietary output formats that you control, enabling you to access your data with public domain software, Matlab, or your own favorite tool
  • Powerful post-processing capabilities
  • Economical: Use VSimPA as a standalone simulation tool or add advanced physics features as needed by including other VSim packages
  • Easy learning curve: Build your own simulations using built-in examples as a starting point
  • Works on Linux, Windows, and macOS platforms running on laptops, desktops, clusters, and supercomputers
  • Scales to solve your largest problems. Accurate parallel decomposition for fast solutions
  • Superior customer support by world-class experts


Example Simulations Included

These example problems are included with VSim for Plasma Acceleration to jumpstart finding the solution to your problem:

Example Using Visual Setup

Visual Setup Examples are ready to run and easy to use.  Running a Visual Setup Example and then customizing the settings for your own simulation is the fastest way to learn VSim.

Laser Driven

Examples Using Text Setup

Code your simulation, then run it.  Text Setup Examples demonstrate how to format a simulation input file using code syntax. If you like the level of control available through designing your simulation using VSim code blocks and Python, try using a Text Setup file as the basis for your simulation project.

Beam Driven
Laser Driven
VSim boosted frame simulation model
Boosted Frame

Simulation of laser plasma acceleration where the frame of the simulation moves relativistically along the laser pulse propagation direction and an electron beam is externally injected behind the laser pulse then accelerated to high energy.

VSim field ionization simulation model

Field Ionize

Simulation of a laser plasma acceleration problem where electrons are trapped in the plasma wakefield due to tunneling ionization by the laser field of nitrogen atoms present in the plasma.

VSim colliding laser pulse simulation model
Colliding Laser Pulse

Simulation of a laser plasma acceleration problem where electrons are trapped in the plasma wakefield due to interaction of two counter-propagating laser pulses.

VSim laser plasma acceleration simulation model

Laser Plasma Acceleration

Simulation of an intense laser pulse propagated up a plasma density ramp into a uniform underdense plasma creating an electron plasma wave.

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