Garfield - simulation of gaseous detectors

Responsible at CERN: Rob Veenhof Created: 1 Sep 1984
Manual Type: User Guide Last Update: 7 Sep 2010
Version: 9 Verified: 7 Sep 2010
Author: Rob Veenhof Valid until: further notice
Reference: W5050 Support Level: High

What Garfield does

Garfield is a computer program for the detailed simulation of two- and three-dimensional drift chambers.


Originally, the program was written for two-dimensional chambers made of wires and planes, such as drift chambers, TPCs and multiwire counters. For many of these configurations, exact fields are known. This is not the case for three dimensional configurations, not even for seemingly simple arrangements like two crossing wires. Furthermore, dielectric media and complex electrode shapes are difficult to handle with analytic techniques. To handle such increasingly popular detectors, Garfield is interfaced with the neBEM program. Garfield also accepts two and three dimensional field maps computed by finite element programs such as Ansys, Maxwell, Tosca, QuickField and FEMLAB as basis for its calculations. The finite element technique can handle nearly arbitrary electrode shapes as well as dielectrics.

Transport and ionisation in gas mixtures

An interface to the Magboltz program is provided for the computation of electron transport properties in nearly arbitrary gas mixtures. Garfield also has an interface with the Heed program to simulate ionisation of gas molecules by particles traversing the chamber.

Transport of particles, including diffusion, avalanches and current induction is treated in three dimensions irrespective of the technique used to compute the fields.


The program can calculate for instance the following:

Related information

Last updated on 8/2/11.

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