Howto create new physics modules

There are different types of physics modules, which you can add to the CORSIKA 8 physics process sequence. Modules can act on particles, secondaries or the entire stack. Modules can create new particles or they can modify or delete particles. They can also produce output.

Types of different modules are explained in ::modules

When creating new modules, we suggest to stick as close as possible to the default CORSIKA 8 coding guidelines and code structure. This makes code review and sharing with others not more complicated than needed.

When your modules creates output, use the available CORSIKA 8 output machinery. This is not explained here. Also learn how to use units, and use the loggers from the very beginning. Furthermore, get aquinted with C++17.

Let’s consider the case of an “InteractionProcess” which will remove the projectile particle and create secondary particles on the stack instead. It also has a cross section in order to evaulate the probability with respect to other InteractionProcesses. Create a header file SimpleProcess.hpp, which is conceptually based to resemble (roughly) a Matthew-Heitler model:

#pragma once

#include <corsika/framework/core/ParticleProperties.hpp>
#include <corsika/framework/core/PhysicalConstants.hpp>
#include <corsika/framework/core/PhysicalUnits.hpp>
#include <corsika/framework/core/Logging.hpp>
#include <corsika/framework/process/InteractionProcess.hpp>
#include <corsika/framework/random/RNGManager.hpp>

namespace corsika::simple_process {

class SimpleProcess : public corsika::InteractionProcess<SimpleProcess> {


   template <typename TParticle>
   GrammageType getInteractionLength(TParticle const&) const;

   template <typename TSecondaryView>
   void doInteraction(TSecondaryView& view) const;

   // the random number stream
   corsika::default_prng_type& rng_ =

   // the logger
   std::shared_ptr<spdlog::logger> logger_ = get_logger("corsika_SimpleProcess");



#include <SimpleProcess.inl>

And the corresponding SimpleProcess.inl as:

Namespace corsika::simple_process

inline SimpleProcess::SimpleProcess() {}

template <typename TParticle>
inline GrammageType SimpleProcess::getInteractionLength(
      TParticle const &particle) const
   // this process only applies to hadrons above Ekin=100GeV
  if (is_hadron(particle.getPID()) && particle.getKineticEnergy()>100_GeV) {
     return 2_g/square(1_cm);
   // otherwise its cross section is 0
     return std::numeric_limits<double>::infinity() * 1_g/square(1_cm);

template <typename TSecondaryView>
inline void SimpleProcess::doInteraction(TSecondaryView &view) const
   // the actual projectile particle, which will disappear after the call to doInteraction finished.
   auto projectile = view.getProjectile();
   int const nMult = 15;
   auto pionEnergy = projectile.getEnergy() / nMult;

   auto const pOrig = projectile.getPosition();
   auto const tOrig = projectile.getTime();
   auto const projectileMomentum = projectile.getMomentum();
   auto const &cs = projectileMomentum.getCoordinateSystem();

   for (int iMult=0; iMult<nMult; ++iMult) {

         projectileMomentum.normalized() * sqrt(square(pionEnergy) + square(PiPlus::mass)),
   CORSIKA_LOGGER_INFO(logger_, "Created {} new secondaries of energy {}.", nMult, pionEnergy);


In this example, TParticle as used here in the SimpleModule is one particle on the CORSIKA8 particle stack. It has all methods you expect as getPosition(), getEnergy(), getKineticEnergy(), etc.

The TSecondaryView provides special access to the CORSIKA8 particle stack as needed for a particle interaction with a projectile and secondaries. For example, getProjectil() will return the actual projectile particle, addSecondary(…) will produce a secondary of the projectil. The advantage of addSecondary wrt. addParticle is that there exists a direct reference to the projectile allowing to automatically copy weights, keep the cascade history, etc. Furthermore, you can define subsequent SeoncariesProcesses which can further process all the newly created secondaries. This could perform energy threshold cuts, or also calculate new weights, etc.

The SimpleProcess is not necessarily useful for anything and its sole purpuse is to illustrate the mechanism to create your own processes.

You can then include such a process in your programm (e.g. in vertical_EAS) with
  • add: #include <SimpleProcess.hpp>

  • register the new random stream: RNGManager<>::getInstance().registerRandomStream(“simple_process”);

  • initialize it with `simple_process::SimpleProcess simple; `

  • add it to the physiscs sequence i.e. via auto extended_sequence = make_sequence(old_sequence, simple);

Please follow the style and guidelines for programming CORSIKA 8 code even for private project. Your code will be GPLv3, too, and thus should be made public to the community. Any discussion or eventual bug-fixing is much more complicated if there are deviations from the guideline.