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PyPDR calculates the chemistry, thermal balance and molecular excitation of a slab of gas under FUV irradiation in a self-consistent way. The effect of FUV irradiation on the chemistry is that molecules get photodissociated and the gas is heated up to several 1000 K, mostly by the photoelectric effect on small dust grains or UV pumping of H2 followed by collision de-excitation. The gas is cooled by molecular and atomic lines, thus indirectly the chemical composition also affects the thermal structure through the abundance of molecules and atoms. To find a self-consistent solution between heating and cooling, the code iteratively calculates the chemistry, thermal-balance and molecular/atomic excitation.