The development and application of Monte Carlo simulations of radiation transport is one of the main focuses of our group members. We have been involved in the development of general-purpose codes for simulating radiation transport in arbitrary geometries; in particular, the EGSnrc code system. We have also been involved in the development of Monte Carlo codes for radiotherapy applications including: the BEAMnrc code, which simulates radiotherapy accelerators and 60Co units; the DOSXYZnrc code, which calculates the dose distribution in a patient based on computer tomography images; and the BrachyDose code, which models brachytherapy treatments in sites such as prostate, breast and eye. We also use other Monte Carlo codes to simulate particle therapy accelerators. We use these sophisticated Monte Carlo simulation codes to investigate a variety of problems in radiotherapy physics including response of radiation detectors and dose distributions in patients. Research projects include investigation of the response of ionization chamber, diode and optically stimulated luminescence detectors to different radiation fields used to treat cancer patients; and calculation of dose distributions in brachytherapy procedures. Group members collaborate with colleagues in clinical (hospital) settings to evaluate current treatments and develop new treatment techniques.
CLRP is also involved in the development of new dosimeters for clinical applications. Particularly, we are involved in the development of the optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) technique to evaluate absorbed doses in radiotherapy fields. Research involves characterizing existing OSL dosimeters to clinical radiation fields (x-rays, electrons, protons and heavy-ions), development of OSL readout protocols, development of cost-effective, portable and reliable OSL readout equipments and development of methods to measure radiation quality.
CLRP is equipped with a variety of dosimetry equipment including ionization chambers, electrometers and OSL readers. CLRP has also access to the facilities of the Ionizing Radiation Standards group at the National Research Council, Canada. The Department of Physics at Carleton University has a high performance computer facility composed of a LINUX cluster with 624 CPUs. Each node is connected via 1 gigabit NFS network. Sun Grid Engine software is used to provide a queuing system for the cluster. The facility also features a number of disk storage elements providing researchers with over 50TB of data storage. GNU, Intel C++ and FORTRAN compilers are available.