Geant4: a toolkit for the simulation of the interaction of radiation
with matter. Overview, validation and recent developments
The simulation of the interaction of radiation with matter is a challenging aspect of many scientific domains. In high energy physics simulations are used to design and optimize the experimental detectors used to collect the data; analysis strategies are developed and tuned using simulations even before the experiments are build. In medical physics the use of different types of radiation to perform non-invasive imaging of the human body or to cure some types of tumors are disciplines in strong expansion. Simulation codes are used to design both imaging detectors and medical accelerators and they are used to validate the planning of effective therapies. In space science application simulations are used to optimize the shielding of satellites and study the effect of high energy cosmic ray on the spacecraft electronics.
While Monte Carlo simulation tools have become ubiquitous tools for scientists, general purpose systems, that can be used in many different scientific domains, are not widespread. In this talk we will overview one of these general purpose systems: Geant4. Its capabilities in describing experimental setups and its wide physics coverage will be presented. Example of applications and validation of results will be discussed together with an overview of recent developments and future extensions.