Berkeley Lab


HiPACE (Highly efficient Plasma Accelerator Emulation) is a relativistic, fully electromagnetic, quasi-static 3D particle-in-cell code for efficient simulation of particle-beam driven plasma-wakefield accelerators.
HiPACE plasma hosing image


HiPACE is a relativistic, fully electromagnetic, three-dimensional (3D) and MPI-parallelized particle-in-cell (PIC) code. It uses the quasi-static approximation to efficiently model particle-beam driven plasma-wakefield accelerators. HiPACE exploits the disparity of time scales in the interaction of highly relativistic particle beams with plasma to decouple beam and plasma evolution. This enables time steps which can be many times greater than those used in standard finite-difference time-domain PIC codes that simulate the interaction in the laboratory frame, and therefore renders possible a reduction of the required number of core-hours by orders of magnitude.

The current version of HiPACE computes all electromagnetic field components and allows for the fully consistent simulation of non-cylindrically-symmetric phenomena, such as the hose instability.

In 2021, a rewrite in C++, supporting modern GPUs and new algorithms was published as HiPACE++.


T. Mehrling, C. Benedetti, C.B. Schroeder and J. Osterhoff, “HiPACE: a quasi-static particle-in-cell code”, Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion 56, 8 (22 July 2014), 084012,

M. Thévenet, S. Dietrichs et al., “HiPACE++”, GitHub (2021),