Welcome to the POLARIS homepage


POLARIS (POLArized RadIation Simulator) is a 3D Monte-Carlo continuum radiative transfer code. The code is written in C++ in a strict object oriented manner. The aim of POLARIS is to provide a tool that allows to simulate intensity and polarization of light emerging from analytical astrophysical models as well as complex magneto-hydrodynamic simulations on various grids. Hence, POLARIS is capable to perform dust heating, dust grain alignment, line radiative transfer, and synchrotron simulations in order to calculate synthetic intensity and polarization maps. The code makes use of a full set of physical quantities (density, temperature, velocity, magnetic field distribution, and dust grain properties as well as different sources of radiation) as input.

Direct download links:

The source code for POLARIS and PolarisTools is publicly available under the terms defined in licence information file. The current release version can be downloaded here:

POLARIS RT code (MacOS / Linux, Ver. 4.04.00)

POLARIS manual

GitHub (recent developments, no guarantees!)

Supported features

  • MC dust heating: Combined heating algorithm of continuous absorption and immediate temperature correction, stochastic heating of small dust grains.
  • Dust modeling: Independent composition of dust grain materials and size distributions
  • Radiation sources: Stars, starfields, background radiation, ISRF, thermal dust re-emission
  • Polarization mechanisms: Scattering, Self-Scattering, dichroic extinction, thermal re-emission
  • Dust grain alignment theories: Internal alignment, Imperfect Davis-Greenstein (IDG), Mechanical alignment (GOLD),
    Radiative torques (RAT)
  • Line radiative transfer: Molecular lines including Zeeman effect with level population methods of local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE), free-escape probability (FEP), or large velocity gradient (LVG)
  • Optimization: Forced first scattering, Wavelength range selection, Peeling-off, sub-pixeling, OpenMP parallelization
  • Native grids: octree, spherical, cylindrical, voronoi
  • Synchrotron polarization and Faraday rotation: thermal and cosmic-ray electrons