Noyce Conference Room
  US Mountain Time

Our campus is closed to the public for this event.

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.

Research Collaboration
SFI Host: 
Cris Moore