Core Library:

Service System Compiler Status
Travis- CI Ubuntu 14.04 macOS GCC 6 Clang master: |image0 |deve lop: |image1 |
AppVeyo r Windows MSVC14 MSVC14.1 master: |image2 |deve lop: |image3 |

`Python package <https://pypi.org/project/spirit/>`__: image4

Branch Python Package Coverage Core Library Coverage
master: image5 image6
develop: image7 image8

The code is released under MIT License. If you intend to present and/or publish scientific results or visualisations for which you used Spirit, please read the REFERENCE.md

This is an open project and contributions and collaborations are always welcome!! See Contributing on how to contribute or write an email to g.mueller@fz-juelich.de For contributions and affiliations, see CONTRIBUTORS.md

Please note that a version of the Spirit Web interface is hosted by the Research Centre Jülich at http://juspin.de



A modern framework for magnetism science on clusters, desktops & laptops and even your Phone

Spirit is a platform-independent framework for spin dynamics, written in C++11. It combines the traditional cluster work, using using the command-line, with modern visualisation capabilites in order to maximize scientists’ productivity.

“It is unworthy of excellent men to lose hours like slaves in the labour of calculation which could safely be relegated to anyone else if machines were used.” - Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

Our goal is to build such machines. The core library of the Spirit framework provides an easy to use API, which can be used from almost any programming language, and includes ready-to-use python bindings. A powerful desktop user interface is available, providing real-time visualisation and control of parameters.

Physics Features

  • Atomistic Spin Lattice Heisenberg Model including also DMI and dipole-dipole
  • Spin Dynamics simulations obeying the Landau-Lifschitz-Gilbert equation
  • Direct Energy minimisation with different solvers
  • Minimum Energy Path calculations for transitions between different spin configurations, using the GNEB method

Highlights of the Framework

  • Cross-platform: everything can be built and run on Linux, OSX and Windows
  • Standalone core library with C API which can be used from almost any programming language
  • Python package making complex simulation workflows easy
  • Desktop UI with powerful, live 3D visualisations and direct control of most system parameters
  • Modular backends including parallelisation on GPU (CUDA) and CPU (OpenMP)


More details may be found at spirit-docs.readthedocs.io or in the Reference section including * Framework build instructions * Core build instructions * Core API Reference * Python API Reference * Input File Reference

There is also a Wiki, hosted by the Research Centre Jülich.

Getting started with the Desktop Interface

See BUILD.md on how to install the desktop user interface.


The user interface provides a powerful OpenGL visualisation window using the VFRendering library. It provides functionality to - Control Calculations - Locally insert Configurations (homogeneous, skyrmions, spin spiral, … ) - Generate homogeneous Transition Paths - Change parameters of the Hamiltonian - Change parameters of the Method and Solver - Configure the Visualization (arrows, isosurfaces, lighting, …)

See the UI-QT Reference for the key bindings of the various features.

Unfortunately, distribution of binaries for the Desktop UI is not possible due to the restrictive license on QT-Charts.

Getting started with the Python Package

To install the Spirit python package, either build and install from source or simply use

pip install spirit

With this package you have access to powerful Python APIs to run and control dynamics simulations or optimizations. This is especially useful for work on clusters, where you can now script your workflow, never having to re-compile when testing, debugging or adding features.

The most simple example of a spin dynamics simulation would be

from spirit import state, simulation
with state.State("input/input.cfg") as p_state:
    simulation.PlayPause(p_state, "LLG", "SIB")

Where "SIB" denotes the semi-implicit method B and the starting configuration will be random.

To add some meaningful content, we can change the initial configuration by inserting a Skyrmion into a homogeneous background:

def skyrmion_on_homogeneous(p_state):
    from spirit import configuration
    configuration.Skyrmion(p_state, 5.0, phase=-90.0)

If we want to calculate a minimum energy path for a transition, we need to generate a sensible initial guess for the path and use the GNEB method. Let us consider the collapse of a skyrmion to the homogeneous state:

from spirit import state, chain, configuration, transition, simulation

### Copy the system a few times
for number in range(1,7):
noi = chain.Get_NOI(p_state)

### First image is homogeneous with a Skyrmion in the center
configuration.PlusZ(p_state, idx_image=0)
configuration.Skyrmion(p_state, 5.0, phase=-90.0, idx_image=0)
simulation.PlayPause(p_state, "LLG", "VP", idx_image=0)
### Last image is homogeneous
configuration.PlusZ(p_state, idx_image=noi-1)
simulation.PlayPause(p_state, "LLG", "VP", idx_image=noi-1)

### Create transition of images between first and last
transition.Homogeneous(p_state, 0, noi-1)

### GNEB calculation
simulation.PlayPause(p_state, "GNEB", "VP")

where "VP" denotes a direct minimization with the velocity projection algorithm.

You may also use Spirit order to extract quantitative data, such as the energy.

def evaluate(p_state):
    from spirit import system, quantities
    M = quantities.Get_Magnetization(p_state)
    E = system.Get_Energy(p_state)
    return M, E

Obviously you may easily create significantly more complex workflows and use Python to e.g. pre- or post-process data or to distribute your work on a cluster and much more!


Contributions are always welcome!

  1. Fork this repository
  2. Check out the develop branch: git checkout develop
  3. Create your feature branch: git checkout -b feature-something
  4. Commit your changes: git commit -am 'Add some feature'
  5. Push to the branch: git push origin feature-something
  6. Submit a pull request

Please keep your pull requests feature-specific and limit yourself to one feature per feature branch. Remember to pull updates from this repository before opening a new feature branch.

If you are unsure where to add you feature into the code, please do not hesitate to contact us.

There is no strict coding guideline, but please try to match your code style to the code you edited or to the style in the respective module.

We aim to adhere to the “git flow” branching model: http://nvie.com/posts/a-successful-git-branching-model/

Release versions (master branch) are tagged major.minor.patch, starting at 1.0.0

Download the latest stable version from https://github.com/spirit-code/spirit/releases

The develop branch contains the latest updates, but is generally less consistently tested than the releases.