The Next Decade of Single Particle Diffraction with X-ray Lasers: Opportunities in Climate Science and Structural Biology

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - 3:00pm

Michael Bogan, PULSE

Over the last decade we established that femtosecond long X-ray free electron laser pulses deliver sufficient photons to enable computational lenses to reconstruct the image of individual nanoparticles and microparticles from their scattered X-ray intensities alone. In this two-part talk I will discuss our recent results from this “diffract before destroy” experiment at LCLS and provide perspectives on expected progress and challenges in the next decade as global investment in X-ray FEL technology increases.

Part I - Climate Science: What does airborne particulate matter look like? How do we develop quantitative descriptors for particles of complex morphology? These challenges were highlighted in the NIST workshop report "Aerosol Metrology Needs for Climate Science" (Dec, 2011). Sure, we can capture aerosol particles on surfaces - removing them from their airborne state - and probe them with high resolution optical and chemical imaging tools, but what information do we lose about the airborne particles? How can we follow dynamics? I will argue that X-ray lasers are an important tool in the quest to standardize aerosol science and outline a vision for the role of X-ray lasers in climate science.

Video: X-ray Vision for Aerosol Scientists: LCLS Snapshots of Soot (Narrated) http://youtu.be/waG9G-lNUYY

Part II - Structural Biology: LCLS opens exciting new opportunities to do damage-free protein crystallography at room temperature. Protein structures can be solved from microgram quantities of proteins but how close are we to the ideal crystallography experiment? Analysis of experimental efficiency in all published serial femtosecond crystallography experiments reveals our progress and provides insight into future directions.

The Next Decade of Single Particle Diffraction with X-ray Lasers: Opportunities in Climate Science and Structural Biology
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