MADEX (Molecular and Atomic Database and Excitation Code)

Version 2011

Author: Prof. J. Cernicharo (CSIC)

  •  Description:

MADEX has been developed in FORTRAN during the last 30 years (Cernicharo, J., 2012, EAS Publication Series, 58, 251). Its main functionalities can be separated into two main groups

1- Database:

1.1) Molecular Spectroscopy

1.2) Spectroscopic Literature

1.3) Collisional rates

2- Computational:

2.1) Compute intensities in Molecular Clouds

2.2) Compute synthetic spectra in the ALMA era

We are providing this version of MADEX as an executable file, which is available for download through the following link:


  • Compatibility:

MADEX has been compiled using Microsoft FORTRAN Power Station. Therefore, its compatibility is only guaranteed for Windows users. Nevertheless, LINUX users may be able to execute MADEX using a Windows Virtual Machine or through Wine (tested on a Ubuntu 16.04.2 with Wine 1.6.2). Mac users might try to run MADEX using Wine.

  • Getting started:

You can start the program by running the executable file in a terminal:

> wine madex             # LINUX/Mac users

> madex                        # Windows users

MADEX accepts commands in the form of a 4 characters (or less) descriptor followed by variables that specify parameters for the source properties, molecular spectroscopy and collisional rates. MADEX is case insensitive.

There is a brief on line description for each command that can be obtained by using the command:


A typical working session may be the following:

MADEX > MOLE CO                     # Select the molecule

MADEX > UGHZ                            #Frequency units in GHz (UMHZ, UC-1,…)

MADEX > NROT 10                      # Select the number of rotational levels

MADEX > EMAX 100                    # Select the maximum value for the energy

MADEX > SPEC 80 116               # Print the spectroscopy for the range between 80 to 116 GHz (or 80000 to 116000 MHz is UMHZ is used)

MADEX > TK 20                             # Selects the kinetic temperature

MADEX > CD 1E15                       # Selects the column density

MADEX > LTE                                 # Computes the populations in the LTE approximation

MADEX > EXEC                             #Computes the populations under the LVG Approximation (see COLM and SCOL)

MADEX > FIND /MOLE STRING      #Found all molecules containing the specified STRING

MADEX> REFS                               #Provides information on the laboratory data used

MADEX> COLM                             #Provides information on collisional rates available

MADEX> SCOL  N                         # Selects collisional rates N from the list of COLM

MADEX> EXIT                                # Stops MADEX

If a molecule does not have collisional rates it is always possible to compute the intensities under the LTE approximation. LVG calculations are performed using the formalism established by Goldreich and Kwan (1974;  ApJ, 189, 441).

At any time the DEFA command provides all the information MADEX is using for the current calculation. Information about MADEX can be printed using the command INFO.

We are working now to provide a complete documentation of the software, which will be available soon.

  • Acknowledgments:

Acknowledgements in your publications using MADEX are welcome. Please use the following acknowledgement in your publications:

“This work has made use of  MADEX (Cernicharo, 2012).”


Cernicharo, J. “Laboratory astrophysics and astrochemistry in the Herschel/ALMA era”. ECLA – European Conference on Laboratory Astrophysics, Edited by C. Stehlé, C. Joblin and L. d’Hendecourt. EAS Publications Series, Vol. 58, 2012, pp.251-261. DOI: