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Modelling absorption and emission of radiation by interstellar dust


This page contains a description and links for download of software that may be used for modelling various aspect of absorption and emission of radiation by interstellar dust.

The initial version of software was produced in support of my PhD thesis (see the publications page). It was subsequently modified by me for easier interfacing and building. A further modification of software (not available here yet) was used in production of the paper by Ford, Nikolic and Alexander, 2008.


The software is released under GPL V3 or later at the licensee's option. No warranty of any sort is offered. Please see preambles for the oof software page.


The software available on this page has the following capabilities:

  • Calculation of absorption and scattering cross section of silicate and graphitic spherical grains using Mie theory. The dielectric functions supplied are those provided by B. T. Draine (see references in thesis).
  • Calculation of absorption cross section of PAHs as a function of size, using the semi-empirical description by B. T. Draine and A. Li (references in thesis, you really should have a look in there...).
  • Calculation of enthalpy probability distribution of transiently heated grains using the "thermal-continuous" approximation for arbitrary radiation field functions. This includes the acceleration mentioned in paper by Ford, Nikolic and Alexander.
  • Calculation of grain size distributions as prescribed by B. T. Draine and A. Li.
  • Somewhat experimental integration of properties across grain size distributions.
  • Also, some basic modelling of radiation fields and similar supporting code.

Developer documentation

An automatically generated, and not entirely complete, developer manual for the most recent version of the library is available.

Current version: V1.0.1

This is the relevant section of the dust NEWS file

* Updated, better doxified, documentation

* Dust::version() reports the version of the library as a string


Version V1.0

This is the first publicly distributed version. These are the components: