Smoothed particle hydrodynamics analysis and visualization with Python.


Plonk is a Python tool for analysis and visualization of smoothed particle hydrodynamics data with a focus on astrophysical fluid dynamics.

With Plonk we aim to integrate the high quality SPH visualisation of Splash into the modern Python astronomer workflow, and to provide a framework for analysis of smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulation data.


Plonk is being used for scientific publications. However, no software is bug free. Please use Plonk and if you have any issues or feature requests please leave feedback by raising a GitHub issue.



If you use Plonk in a scientific publication, please cite the paper published in JOSS.

Mentiplay, (2019). Plonk: Smoothed particle hydrodynamics analysis and visualization with Python. Journal of Open Source Software, 4(44), 1884,

For BibTeX entry, see CITATION.bib.

If you use the interpolation to pixel grid component of Plonk please cite the Splash paper.

Change log

The change log is available at


The main author is Daniel Mentiplay.

If you would like to contribute, see


Copyright 2019-2021 Daniel Mentiplay and contributors.

Plonk is available under the MIT license. For details see LICENSE.

Other packages

Here are some other, mature, Python analysis and visualization packages for smoothed particle hydrodynamics, and other scientific, data:

  • pynbody — “an analysis package for astrophysical N-body and Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics simulations”.

  • Py-SPHViewer — “a parallel Python package to visualise and explore N-body + Hydrodynamics simulations using the Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) scheme”.

  • yt project — “yt is an open-source, permissively-licensed Python package for analyzing and visualizing volumetric data”.

In addition, Splash is a mature, Unix command line, “free and open source visualisation tool for Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) simulations”, written in Fortran.