Santa Fe Institute

A Solution Strategy for Hard Problems Inspired by the X-Ray Phase Problem


March 06, 2013
3:30 PM
Noyce Conference Room

Veit Elser (Cornell University)

Abstract.  SFI is my spring break destination from the frozen northland where I occasionally teach the introductory physics course about waves. A standard part of the curriculum deals with computing a diffraction pattern, given a pair of slits of a given size and separation — but not the reverse, i.e. directly computing the structure of the slits from the diffraction pattern. This colloquium begins with a tutorial on solving the reverse problem and puts this in the context of current efforts to image molecules with free-electron x-ray lasers. The principle of the algorithm that solves the x-ray "phase problem," as it is usually called, is remarkably general and has proven to be a powerful strategy for solving a broad range of constraint problems. A sampling of these, from proteins to packings, are described at the end of the talk.

Purpose: Research Collaboration

SFI Host: Cris Moore

More Info

  • * SFI community lectures are free, open, & accessible to the public.
  • * Seminars & colloquia are geared for scientists but free & open to the interested public.
  • * All other SFI events are by invitation only.
  • * Note: We are unable to accommodate members of the public for SFI's limited lunch service; you're welcome to bring your own.

Events News

International workshop at SFI this week discusses data for the developing world Nov. 20, 2014 -

Experts are meeting at SFI this week to discuss ways to gather and use information about cities and their role in human development in a rapidly urbanizing world.

Happy Birthday SFI…30 years ago today, the Institute began in earnest Nov. 11, 2014 -

Thirty years ago today, on November 11, 1984, the second of SFI's two exploratory founding workshops ended and the Institute began in earnest. 

Video - Watch Sid Redner's SFI Community Lecture: 'I get all the news I need from the sports section' Nov. 5, 2014 -

In the video from an October 15 SFI Community Lecture, SFI's Sid Redner draws on sports statistics to bust a few common myths about scoring streaks, "hot hands," and ...

Apply now for SFI's 2015 Complex Systems Summer School Nov. 4, 2014 -

SFI is now accepting applications for its signature education program for graduate students and postdocs -- the 2015 Complex Systems Summer School, June 7-July 3, 2015, in Santa Fe. Apply by ...

The new SFI Bulletin is live! SFI@30: Foundations & Frontiers Nov. 4, 2014 -

In this issue of the SFI Bulletin, seven essayists trace some of the scientific themes that have endured at SFI across the decades. Read the Fall 2014 issue here.

More News