Cantera logoNumFOCUS is pleased to announce the newest addition to our fiscally sponsored projects: Cantera.

Cantera is an open source software suite which helps users solve problems involving thermodynamics, chemical reaction rates, and fluid transport processes. The software is written to be flexible and efficient, handling these calculations in a way that lets the user shift their attention to other elements of their calculations. Because it is open source, the software can be easily extended to support the needs of any particular researcher.

For these reasons, Cantera has been adopted by a wide range of users across diverse research fields. Its largest user base is in the combustion field, but Cantera has also seen applications in energy storage (such as batteries and fuel cells), geochemistry, chemical processing, thin film deposition, plasma science, and atmospheric/astronomical chemistry.

One of the foundations of Cantera is that the code is modular, allowing researchers to utilize different physical models to understand the behavior of their systems. Cantera has interfaces for Python, Matlab, C, C++, and Fortran, so that researchers can use a language with which they are familiar to perform their calculations. Using an interactive interface such as Python allows researchers to rapidly evaluate their system’s behavior, while still automatically utilizing the power of the Cantera core written in C++. Examples of using Cantera are available for Python, as Jupyter Notebooks, for Matlab, and C++. Beyond research, Cantera is used in classes at the University of Connecticut, Northeastern University, Colorado School of Mines and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Cantera leadership body for NumFOCUS consists of Raymond Speth (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Bryan Weber (University of Connecticut), Steven DeCaluwe (Colorado School of Mines), Kyle Niemeyer (Oregon State University), Richard West (Northeastern University), and Franklin Goldsmith (Brown University).

With the addition of Cantera, the NumFOCUS fiscal sponsorship program now encompasses 21 open source scientific computing projects.