Geant4 for Education: An outreach of Geant4

Geant4 is a toolkit for detector simulation of the passage of particles through matter. It provides a comprehensive set of functionalities for geometry, material, particle, tracking particles, particle interaction, detector response, event, run, visualization, and user interface. Geant4 has rich flexibility and expansibility as a generic simulation framework. Geant4 is widely used in various application domains from HEP (High Energy Physics) experiments to medical and space applications. Its versatility has gathered attention from fields beyond particle physics.

Geant4 for education is one of outreaches. Education of radiation physics is an important subject in various application domains. The learning cost of radiation physics is rather high. One reason for difficulties in understanding radiation, i.e. particle interactions in matter, is that radiation is invisible. The visualization of invisible phenomena is quite conducive to understanding radiation physics. Simulation is a good tool for both teaching and learning radiology. Geant4 contains large phenomenological and empirical knowledge of interactions of particle with matter. Actually, it provides many realistic examples and test suites that can be good starting points for developing an educational courseware.

We have developed a courseware for education of radiation physics using the Geant4 simulation toolkit. The courseware consists of three components: online documentation implemented on a wiki-based contents management system (CMS), "Virtual Laboratory" applications using Geant4, and a virtual machine (VMware) image that these applications are packaged in. The virtual machine image contains preinstalled Geant4 and its related softwarwe, and our virtual laboratory applications. Users can quickly experience our courseware by just downloading the image file and running it on a virtual machine player. This package is distributed as "Geant4 Educational Box" and is used for lectures of radiology in universities.

Simulation is an effective tool for education of radiation physics. Geant4 for education is an emerging interesting application of simulation.

(from 2009 KEK annual report)