Prism Computational Sciences develops software tools for research and development in the physical sciences and engineering. Its software simulation tools are applicable to both research and education in the areas of:

  • Atomic physics
  • Plasma physics
  • Spectroscopy
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Radiation and heat transfer

Prism focuses on developing easy-to-use tools that are particularly well-suited for government and commercial laboratory research and development. The tools are also well-suited for graduate and undergraduate research and education at universities. Prism software features user-friendly graphical user interfaces and supporting visualization packages that allow results to be viewed easily.



PrismSPECT is a collisional-radiative spectral analysis code designed to simulate the atomic and radiative properties of laboratory and astrophysical plasmas.

With PrismSPECT, users can easily investigate how plasma spectral properties change with plasma conditions. For a grid of user-specified plasma conditions, PrismSPECT computes spectral properties (emission and absorption) and ionization properties for LTE and non-LTE plasmas.

In designing PrismSPECT, a strong emphasis has been placed on making it easy to use. It features a user-friendly graphical interface for setting up problems, monitoring the progress of simulations, and viewing results.



SPECT3D is a multi-dimensional imaging and spectral analysis package.

SPECT3D is typically used to post-process results from hydrodynamics simulations to compute images and spectra that can be directly compared with experimental data.



VISRAD is a 3-D thermal radiation and CAD code that simulates the reflection, emission, and absorption of light radiation throughout a complex system of surfaces. This view factor code features a user-friendly graphical interface for setting up 3-D object grids and displaying results from directed laser light and thermal radiation calculations.

VISRAD includes customized features that allow for easy setup and simulation of High Energy Density Physics (HEDP) experiments at major research laboratories.

With VISRAD, someone can easily set up a grid of surfaces and simulate radiation flux and temperature distributions throughout the grid. It also includes pre-configured laser beam and diagnostic port systems that allow for convenient setup, viewing, and simulation of laser beam experiments.



HELIOS is a 1-D radiation-hydrodynamics code designed to study the hydrodynamic evolution of radiating plasmas. It can be used to study the evolution of planar, cylindrical, or spherical plasmas heated by laser beams or by external radiation sources. In designing HELIOS, a strong emphasis has been placed on making it easy to use. It features a user-friendly graphical interface for setting up problems and monitoring the progress of the simulation.

Sample uses of HELIOS include simulating the dynamics of laser-produced plasmas, discharge-produced plasmas (z-pinches), radiatively-heated plasmas, as well as shock propagation in materials.

HELIOS-CR is an enhanced version of HELIOS which includes the option to simulate the dynamics of non-Local-Thermodynamic-Equilibrium (non-LTE) plasmas using an inline Collisional-Radiative (C-R) model.



PrOpacEOS (PRism OPACity and Equation Of State code) generates Equation Of State (EOS) and multigroup opacity data utilized by radiation-hydrodynamics simulation codes.

PrOpacEOS generates frequency-dependent opacity data and equation of state data for use in radiation-hydrodynamics codes.

PrOpacEOS generates data for atomic elements and mixtures of elements.

Atomic Data

Atomic Data

Prism software tools use atomic data generated by the ATBASE code suite. This provides high-quality atomic data for simulating atomic processes and computing detailed spectra.

Prism Atomic Data has been used extensively in the analyses of a wide variety of plasma experiments.

Prism Atomic Data is utilized in other Prism codes (SPECT3D, PrismSPECT, HELIOS-CR, and PrOpacEOS) to simulate the ionization dynamics and detailed spectral properties of LTE and non-LTE plasmas.

Example uses of ATBASE:

  • Generation of comprehensive atomic databases for low-to-mid-Z elements for use in collisional-radiative spectral analysis codes
  • Calculation of customized atomic databases for detailed investigations of atomic processes and spectral properties of specific elements or ions
  • Generation of data for basic plasma physics research performed at government laboratories and universities
  • Generation of data for commercial applications, such as Xe atomic data and Sn atomic data for EUV lithography studies

Supported Platforms

All Prism software has been developed using cross-platform C++ user interface (UI) software. The applications also utilize the OpenGL graphics application framework. The use of cross-platform UI software and OpenGL allows our codes to run natively on:

  • MS Windows (7 or newer)
  • Linux (kernel 2.6.32 or newer)
  • Mac OSX (10.7 or newer)

Only 64-bit platforms are supported.