Santa Fe Institute

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

Colloquium

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.
  • * Other SFI events are by invitation only.

Events News

Tonight's SFI Community Lecture SOLD OUT: Lynda Barry on creativity May 31, 2016 -

Artist and author Lynda Barry explores why we must write, draw, sing, and dance. TONIGHT'S LECTURE SOLD OUT

Happening now at SFI: Working group seeks new algorithms for an old problem May 16, 2016 -

Deciding whether two symmetries are alike is a longstanding problem in group theory, the mathematical study of symmetry. This week at SFI, a working group meets to tackle the mathematical ...

Teacher Natalie Martino, 13 seniors recognized for scientific excellence May 9, 2016 -

In an evening ceremony last week at SFI, the Institute recognized teacher Natalie Martino and 13 Santa Fe-area high school seniors for scientific excellence.

Video: Carlos Castillo-Chavez on deadly lessons from emerging diseases May 6, 2016 -

On April 12, Carlos Castillo-Chavez unraveled the complex factors that fuel the spread of deadly diseases, and how we can use our knowledge of them to prevent future outbreaks. Watch ...

SFI to participate in unprecedented evolutionary research project April 8, 2016 -

A collaboration of international researchers, including four SFI scientists, has been awarded $8 million to extend our understanding of evolution.

More News