U.S. Department of Energy

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

How to Take Pictures of Molecules with a Two-Mile Long Camera

Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Dr. TJ Lane
Movies and pictures free us from the normal constraints of experience – images take us to foreign lands, mountain tops, ocean floors, the reaches of space, and the depths of the human imagination. Molecular motions, which occur on spatial scales a billion times smaller and a quadrillion times faster than humans are used to are – for the first time – being made accessible through the pictures and movies produced by 4th generation light sources. The world’s first such source, The Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), is located at SLAC. I will discuss three projects the LCLS has enabled: generating a molecular movie of a chemical reaction, understanding protein motion in the crystalline state, and the possibility of taking pictures of single molecules or virus particles. Emphasis will be placed on current bottlenecks in these projects that could be alleviated by algorithmic or software advances.
Speaker Bio

TJ Lane is an Associate Staff Scientist at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory with a joint appointment at the LCLS and Biosciences divisions. His primary focus is on the study of protein dynamics in protein folding, enzymology, and cell signaling using x-ray and electron imaging techniques. TJ holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University and a B.A. from Pomona College, both in Chemistry.

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