MS&E Colloquium - Ourmazd
Date: November 14, 2008 from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm EST
Location: 214 S. W. Mudd
Contact: For further information regarding this event, please contact Chad Gurley by sending email to .
Info: Click Here to Visit Website.
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Structure from Fleeting Illumination of Faint Spinning Objects in Flight 

Abbas Ourmazd1

Dept. of Physics, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee


Moves are afoot to illuminate particles in flight with powerful X-ray bursts, in order to determine the structure of single molecules, viruses and nanoparticles.  This would circumvent important limitations of current techniques, including the need for condensing molecules into pure crystals.  Proposals to reconstruct the molecular structure from diffraction "snapshots" of unknown orientation, however, require ~1000x more signal than available from next-generation sources.  Using a new approach, we demonstrate the recovery of the structure of a weakly scattering macromolecule at the anticipated next-generation X-ray source intensities.  Our work closes a critical gap in determining the structure of single molecules and nanoparticles by X-ray methods, and opens the way to reconstructing the structure of spinning, or randomly-oriented objects at extremely low signal levels. 


1In collaboration with Russell Fung, Valentin Shneerson, and Dilano Saldin