Skip to main content

Optimization of near-axis magnetic fields

Project description


NEar-Axis opTimisation

GitHub GitHub Workflow Status Documentation Status codecov

NEAT is a python framework that is intended to find optimized stellarator configurations for fast particle confinement using the near-axis expansion formalism. The magnetic field is calculated using the codes pyQSC and pyQIC, the particle orbits are traced using the code gyronimo (included as a submodule) and the optimization is done using the code simsopt. The benchmarks are made with the SIMPLE and BEAMS3D codes (under construction).

We show here the standard way to download and install NEAT. For more information, please visit the documentation present in


To install NEAT, you'll need the following libraries

  • gsl
  • boost
  • gcc10

and the python packages specified in requirements.txt. Note that pyQSC and pyQIC should be downloaded and installed locally.


The simplest installation of NEAT is by running the command

pip install neatstel

However, it doesn't work on every system and the code hosted in PyPI might be outdated.

From source

To download, clone NEAT using the following command:

git clone

The python packages necessary to run NEAT are listed in the file requirements.txt. A simple way of installing them is by running

pip install -r requirements.txt

Then, to install NEAT, on its root directory run

pip install -e .

If you do not have permission to install python packages to the default location, add the --user flag to pip so the package can be installed for your user only::

pip install --user -e .

To debug any possible problems that might arise, you may also try to install using the provided file

python install --user

Done! Now try running an example.

Note: the python package is called neatstel.


This section explains how to build the docker container for NEAT. It can be used to compile gyronimo, install pyQSC, simsopt and compile NEAT in a docker image directly.

Using Docker Hub

The easiest way to get simsopt docker image which comes with NEAT and all of its dependencies such as gyronimo and VMEC pre-installed is to use Docker Hub. After installing docker, you can run the simsopt container directly from the simsopt docker image uploaded to Docker Hub.

docker run -it --rm rjorge123/neat

The above command should load the terminal that comes with the NEAT docker container. When you run it first time, the image is downloaded automatically, so be patient. You should now be able to import the module from python:

import neat

Build locally

To build the image locally, instead of downloading from DockerHub, you can use the commands below:

  1. Build the docker image by running the docker build command in the repo root directory:

    docker build -t neat -f docker/Dockerfile.NEAT .

This process yields an image with roughly 2 GB and may take minute to build.

  1. Run the docker image using the docker run command including your results folder:

    docker run -it neat

  2. Done! You are now in an environment with NEAT installed. You can open python and run the examples.


For common uses of NEAT, please check the examples folder. It has the three main current uses of NEAT:

  • Trace a single particle orbit (examples/
  • Trace an ensemble of particles (examples/
  • Optimize a stellarator magnetic field (examples/


All units are in SI, except:

  • The mass of the particle, which is in units of the mass of the proton
  • The charge of the particle is normalized to the charge of the proton
  • The energy is in eV

Lambda = mu (SI) / Energy (SI) * B (reference SI)


Profiling Python code

Use the line_profiler python extension.

pip install line_profiler

Example here

Profiling the C++ extension

There is a C++ script in the src/neatpp directory called neatpp_profiling.cpp that has the sole purpose of helping find bottlenecks in the C++ implementation. We show here an example of how to profile the code using the tool gperftools.

On MacOs, it can be installed via Macports or Homebrew. On Ubuntu, it can be install via sudo apt-get install google-perftools.

For it to profile the code, the flag PROFILING should be ON in the cmake_config_file.json file. After compiling NEAT, it will create an executable called profiling in the temporary build directory. To profile the code using the gperftools, you can run

CPUPROFILE=profile.out build/path_to_profiling

where the output file for the profiling was named profile.out.

The results can be ploted using the following command

pprof --gv build/path_to_profiling profile.out

On MacOs, to show the plot, one needs to install gprof2dot, graphivz and gv. On macports, for example, this can be done using

sudo port install py310-gprof2dot graphivz gv

where the python version 3.10 was specified.

If, instead of plotting, you would like text results, you can run

prof build/path_to_profiling profile.out


pybind11 not found by cmake

Please use the following command to install pybind11[global] instead of pybind11

pip install "pybind11[global]"

How to clean all folders created during installation/execution

To clean the build folders and all folders not being tracked by GIT, run

git clean -d -f -x

Project details

Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Source Distribution

neatstel-0.1.tar.gz (665.5 kB view hashes)

Uploaded source

Supported by

AWS AWS Cloud computing and Security Sponsor Datadog Datadog Monitoring Fastly Fastly CDN Google Google Download Analytics Microsoft Microsoft PSF Sponsor Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Sentry Sentry Error logging StatusPage StatusPage Status page