Geant4: Chapter 1.  Introduction

1.1.  Scope of this manual

The User's Guide for Application Developers is the first manual the reader should consult when learning about Geant4 or developing a Geant4-based detector simulation program. This manual is designed to:

  • introduce the first-time user to the Geant4 object-oriented detector simulation toolkit,
  • provide a description of the available tools and how to use them, and
  • supply the practical information required to develop and run simulation applications which may be used in real experiments.

This manual is intended to be an overview of the toolkit, rather than an exhaustive treatment of it. Related physics discussions are not included unless required for the description of a particular tool. Detailed discussions of the physics included in Geant4 can be found in the Physics Reference Manual. Details of the design and functionality of the Geant4 classes can be found in the User's Guide for Toolkit Developers.

Geant4 is a completely new detector simulation toolkit written in the C++ language. The reader is assumed to have a basic knowledge of object-oriented programming using C++. No knowledge of earlier FORTRAN versions of Geant is required. Although Geant4 is a fairly complicated software system, only a relatively small part of it needs to be understood in order to begin developing detector simulation applications.

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