Beam Parameters

  1. Incoming beams
  2. Variable collision energy
  3. Beam momentum spread
  4. Beam interaction vertex
The settings on this page relate to the beam identities and energies, to a beam momentum spread and to a beam interaction spot. As always, momenta and energies are to be given in units of GeV, and of space and time in mm.

Incoming beams

The identities and energies of the two incoming beam particles should be specified using the settings in this section. Note that, if nothing is done, you will default to LHC at 14 TeV.

Currently the beam particles must be either a hadron pair, a lepton pair, a photon pair, a lepton and a hadron or a photon and a hadron. In the first category p p and pbar p combinations dominate, but it is also possible to combine with pi^+, pi^- and pi^0. In the second e^+ e^- and mu^+ mu^- would be the most useful combinations, but also others should work if combined with an appropriate hard process.

mode  Beams:idA   (default = 2212)
The PDG id code for the first incoming particle. Allowed codes include
2212 = p, -2212 = pbar,
2112 = n, -2112 = nbar,
211 = pi^+, -211 = pi^-, 111 = pi^0,
990 = Pomeron (used in diffractive machinery; here mainly for debug purposes),
22 = gamma (for gamma-gamma and gamma-hadron interactions, more info here),
11 = e^-, -11 = e^+,
13 = mu^-, -13 = mu^+,
and a few more leptons/neutrinos in a few combinations.
Recently heavy-ion collisions have been implemented in PYTHIA. Therefore a handful of nuclei have been added as allowed incoming beams, using PDG codes of the format 100ZZZAAAI: 1000020040 = 4He , 1000030060 = 6Li, 1000060120 = 12C, 1000080160 = 16O, 1000290630 = 63Cu, 1000791970 = 197Au, and 1000822080 = 208Pb. More can be added using the function ParticleData::addParticle.

mode  Beams:idB   (default = 2212)
The PDG id code for the second incoming particle.

mode  Beams:frameType   (default = 1; minimum = 1; maximum = 5)
Choice of frame for the two colliding particles. For options 1 - 3 the beam identities are specified above, while they are obtained by the Les Houches information for options 4 and 5.
option 1 : the beams are colliding in their CM frame, and therefore only the CM energy needs to be provided, see Beams:eCM below.
option 2 : the beams are back-to-back, but with different energies, see Beams:eA and Beams:eB below. This option could also be used for fixed-target configurations.
option 3 : the beams are not back-to-back, and therefore the three-momentum of each incoming particle needs to be specified, see Beams:pxA through Beams:pzB below.
option 4 : the beam and event information is stored in a Les Houches Event File, see Beams:LHEF below.
option 5 : the beam and event information is obtained by a pointer to an LHAup class instance.

parm  Beams:eCM   (default = 14000.; minimum = 0.)
Collision CM energy, to be set if Beams:frameType = 1.

parm  Beams:eA   (default = 7000.; minimum = 0.)
The energy of the first incoming particle, moving in the +z direction, to be set if Beams:frameType = 2. If the particle energy is smaller than its mass it is assumed to be at rest.

parm  Beams:eB   (default = 7000.; minimum = 0.)
The energy of the second incoming particle, moving in the -z direction, to be set if Beams:frameType = 2. If the particle energy is smaller than its mass it is assumed to be at rest.

parm  Beams:pxA   (default = 0.)
The p_x component of the first incoming particle, to be set if Beams:frameType = 3.

parm  Beams:pyA   (default = 0.)
The p_y component of the first incoming particle, to be set if Beams:frameType = 3.

parm  Beams:pzA   (default = 7000.)
The p_z component of the first incoming particle, to be set if Beams:frameType = 3.

parm  Beams:pxB   (default = 0.)
The p_x component of the second incoming particle, to be set if Beams:frameType = 3.

parm  Beams:pyB   (default = 0.)
The p_y component of the second incoming particle, to be set if Beams:frameType = 3.

parm  Beams:pzB   (default = -7000.)
The p_z component of the second incoming particle, to be set if Beams:frameType = 3.

word  Beams:LHEF   (default = void)
The name of a Les Houches Event File, to be set if Beams:frameType = 4.

word  Beams:LHEFheader   (default = void)
As some information in a Les Houches Event File init block is only known at the end of generation, some programs choose to output this as a separate file. If Beams:LHEFheader is given, information up till the end of the init block is read from this file, with the events themselves read as usual from the file given in Beams:LHEF.

flag  Beams:newLHEFsameInit   (default = off)
Allow to begin reading events from a new LHEF or or a new LHAup instance without a completely new initialization. Only useful when Beams:frameType = 4 or 5.

flag  Beams:readLHEFheaders   (default = on)
Read in LHEF header blocks and store them in the Info class. See also LHAupLHEF and the Les Houches Event files section for more information.

mode  Beams:nSkipLHEFatInit   (default = 0)
Skip the first nSkip events of the input stream (cf. the LHAup::skipEvent(nSkip) method). Only used when Beams:frameType = 4 or 5.

flag  Beams:strictLHEFscale   (default = off)
Always use the SCALUP value read from LHEF as production scale for particles, also including particles coming from resonance decays. By default, the production scale of resonance decay products (W-, Z-, H-bosons, top quarks) will be set to M/2, where M is the mass of the resonance.

flag  Beams:setProductionScalesFromLHEF   (default = off)
If enabled, production scales for all particles in an input Les Houches event will be set by using auxiliary information provided in the input event. Depending on which LHEF version is used, different information will be read. For LHEF 1.0, scale information can be transferred by including a line starting with the hashtag (#) character at the end of the event. The hashtag should be followed by the sequential scale values of the particles with status 1. For LHEF 3.0, the standardised <scales> tag is used instead. In this case, please ensure that production scale of the final state particle with position i in the input event will be transferred as the value of a scales tag attribute which contains i at the end of the attribute name, separated from the rest of the name by an underscore (_). An example <scales> tag would be <scales muf="100" pt_start_3="100" pt_start_4="50"> </scales>. This could be used to set the production scales of particles three and four to 100 GeV and 50 GeV, respectively, provided that these particles have status 1.

Variable collision energy

There are two different machineries that can provide an event-by-event spread of collision energies. The one in this section is intended to allow for very large variations in collision energy, more-or-less from threshold to the highest LHC/FCC/cosmic-ray energies. This is made possible by interpolation in a grid of CM energies. Such a strategy requires the processes to have a smooth and well-understood energy dependence. In practice this limits us to the soft QCD processes betweeen two incoming hadrons. Thus the framework is convenient e.g. for studies of cosmic-ray cascades, or for secondary collisions in general.

The core extension in this option is that the multiparticle interactions (MPI) machinery is initialized over a (logarithmically spaced) grid of collision energies, from the maximal energy provided at the initialization down to a lower cutoff (see eMinPert below). For each new event, with a new CM energy, a suitable interpolation is then performed among the generation coefficients determined at initialization. The MPI framework is what is needed to simulate hadronic nondiffractive events (SoftQCD:nonDiffractive). Pretty much the same strategy is already used for diffraction, to handle MPIs inside the variable-mass diffractive systems. Thus all the Soft QCD processes can be used within this framework. Below the minimal energy for a perturbative description (see below) instead the simplified Low-energy QCD processes can be used. It is not possible to generate other processes with the variable-energy framework, however, and the program will abort if you try.

The initialization involves setting up optimal coefficients for the kinematics selection in the subsequent MPI generation, and finding the associated maximum of the differentialcross section. At a fixed energy this typically takes less than a second, and so normally is not noticeable.It is a major fraction of the full PYTHIA initialization time, however. Thus the initialization over a grid of energies raises the total initialization time appreciable, to the order of ten seconds. Initialization of diffraction contributes comparable numbers, when switched on. You should therefore not be surprised that the startup time is longer than usual. The subsequent event generation should not become noticeably slower, however.

There are three main settings in this framework.

flag  Beams:allowVariableEnergy   (default = off)
Master switch to allow collision energies below the initialization one, as described above.

parm  Beams:eMinPert   (default = 10.; minimum = 10.)
The lowest CM energy that collisions are allowed to have. The highest is set by the full energy at initialization, as calculated in the respective options above. If you do not want to generate events with a higher collision energy than this you can save some initialization time by raising this number accordingly, so that fewer grid energies need to be used. You should not lower the value below the default one, however, since the perturbative MPI machinery cannot be made to work at lower energies. If you do want to generate events with lower energies, it is possible in a nonperturbative framework, see next.

parm  Beams:eWidthPert   (default = 10.; minimum = 1.)
A simpler low-mass description can be used for energies below the threshold energy e_min = eMinPert above, with only longitudinally stretched strings. A gradual switch-over between the simple low-energy and perturbative high-energy regimes is then natural. The probability for the latter picture is parametrized as
P_pert = 1 - exp( (e_CM - e_min) / e_width )
which vanishes for the CM energy e_CM < e_min, and is 1 - 1/e = 0.632 for e_CM = e_min + e_width. The current parameter is this e_width.

To input the variable energy, the normal argument-less Pythia::next() method has three siblings that take relevent arguments as required by the Beams:frameType.

bool Pythia::next(double eCM)  
events created by the collision of two particles coming in along the +-z axis in their common rest frame, with the CM energy as argument, to be used for Beams:frameType = 1.

bool Pythia::next(double eA, double eB)  
events created by the collision of two particles coming in along the +-z axis, with the respective energies as arguments, to be used for Beams:frameType = 2.

bool Pythia::next(double pxA, double pyA, double pzA, double pxB, double pyB, double pzB)  
events created by two incoming particles with arbitrary three-momenta, to be used for Beams:frameType = 3.

Beam momentum spread

This framework currently is intended for a modest beam spread, such as experienced at hadron colliders. Thus it can be safely assumed that the physics does not change over the CM energy range probed, so that the parameters of the physics initialization at the nominal energy can be used as is. Therefore it can be used for all processes implemented in PYTHIA. It can not be used for the more extensive energy spread, however, e.g. as expected at linear e^+ e^- colliders. Also, any attempt to combine it with external Les Houches input of parton-level events is at own risk. This option cannot be combined with the variable-collision-energy option above, but will be switced off in such a case.

On this page you can set the momentum spread according to a simple Gaussian distribution. If you instead want a more sophisticated parametrization, you can write and link your own BeamShape class.

flag  Beams:allowMomentumSpread   (default = off)
Allow the beam momenta to be smeared around their initialization nominal values.

parm  Beams:sigmaPxA   (default = 0.; minimum = 0.)
The width of a Gaussian distribution of the p_x spread of the first incoming particle.

parm  Beams:sigmaPyA   (default = 0.; minimum = 0.)
The width of a Gaussian distribution of the p_y spread of the first incoming particle.

parm  Beams:sigmaPzA   (default = 0.; minimum = 0.)
The width of a Gaussian distribution of the p_z spread of the first incoming particle.

parm  Beams:maxDevA   (default = 5.; minimum = 0.)
The triply Gaussian distribution (p_x, p_y, p_z) is restricted to a maximal total deviation from the nominal values (p_x0, p_y0, p_z0) for the first incoming particle, like
(p_x - p_x0)^2/sigma_px^2 + (p_y - p_y0)^2/sigma_py^2 + (p_z - p_z0)^2/sigma_pz^2 < maxDev^2
(Note the absence of a factor 2 in the denominator, unlike the Gaussians used to pick (p_x, p_y, p_z).)

parm  Beams:sigmaPxB   (default = 0.; minimum = 0.)
The width of a Gaussian distribution of the p_x spread of the second incoming particle.

parm  Beams:sigmaPyB   (default = 0.; minimum = 0.)
The width of a Gaussian distribution of the p_y spread of the second incoming particle.

parm  Beams:sigmaPzB   (default = 0.; minimum = 0.)
The width of a Gaussian distribution of the p_z spread of the second incoming particle.

parm  Beams:maxDevB   (default = 5.; minimum = 0.)
The triply Gaussian distribution (p_x, p_y, p_z) is restricted to a maximal total deviation from the nominal values (p_x0, p_y0, p_z0), for the second incoming particle, like
(p_x - p_x0)^2/sigma_px^2 + (p_y - p_y0)^2/sigma_py^2 + (p_z - p_z0)^2/sigma_pz^2 < maxDev^2
(Note the absence of a factor 2 in the denominator, unlike the Gaussians used to pick (p_x, p_y, p_z).)

Beam interaction vertex

On this page you can set the spread of the interaction vertex according to a simple Gaussian distribution. If you instead want a more sophisticated parametrization, you can write and link your own BeamShape class.

flag  Beams:allowVertexSpread   (default = off)
Allow the interaction vertex of the two colliding beams to be smeared. If off, then the vertex is set to be the origin.

parm  Beams:sigmaVertexX   (default = 0.; minimum = 0.)
The width of a Gaussian distribution of the x location of the interaction vertex.

parm  Beams:sigmaVertexY   (default = 0.; minimum = 0.)
The width of a Gaussian distribution of the y location of the interaction vertex.

parm  Beams:sigmaVertexZ   (default = 0.; minimum = 0.)
The width of a Gaussian distribution of the z location of the interaction vertex.

parm  Beams:maxDevVertex   (default = 5.; minimum = 0.)
The triply Gaussian distribution of interaction vertex position (x, y, z) is restricted to a maximal total deviation from the origin, like
x^2/sigma_x^2 + y^2/sigma_y^2 + z^2/sigma_z^2 < maxDevVertex^2
(Note the absence of a factor 2 in the denominator, unlike the Gaussians used to pick (x, y, z).)

parm  Beams:sigmaTime   (default = 0.; minimum = 0.)
The width of a Gaussian distribution of the collision time (in units of mm/c). Note that, if the above space parametrization is viewed as the effect of two incoming beams along the +-z axis, with each beam having a Gaussian spread, then the spread of the time would also become a Gaussian with the same width as the z one (times the velocity of the beams, which we expect is close to unity). For flexibility we have not enforced any such relation, however.

parm  Beams:maxDevTime   (default = 5.; minimum = 0.)
The collision time is restricted to be in the range |t| < sigma_t * maxDevTime.

The distributions above are all centered at the origin. It is also possible to shift the above distributions to be centered around another nominal position. You must have Beams:allowVertexSpread = on to use this possibility.

parm  Beams:offsetVertexX   (default = 0.)
The x location of the interaction vertex is centered at this value.

parm  Beams:offsetVertexY   (default = 0.)
The y location of the interaction vertex is centered at this value.

parm  Beams:offsetVertexZ   (default = 0.)
The z location of the interaction vertex is centered at this value.

parm  Beams:offsetTime   (default = 0.)
The time t of the interaction vertex is centered at this value.