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Duke Physics Colloquium: Structure and Dynamics from Random Observations

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Wednesday, March 28, 2018
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4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
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Abbas Ourmazd (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee)

"Structure and Dynamics from Random Observations" - Don't be a control freak. At weddings, the bridal photo is taken under bright lights, with the happy couple holding still. Traditionally in science, the "best" observations are those with the largest signal from the most tightly controlled system. Like bridal photos, the results are not always exciting. In a wide range of phenomena - from the dance of proteins during their function, to the breaking of molecular bonds on the femtosecond scale - tight control is neither possible, nor desirable. Modern data-analytical techniques extract far more information from random sightings than usually obtained from set-piece experiments. I will describe on-going efforts to extract structural and dynamical information from noisy, random snapshots recorded with very poor, or non-existent timing information. Examples will include conformational dynamics of molecular machines, and the ultrafast dynamics of bond-breaking. Less can be more, but only if there is plenty of it. | Faculty Host: Glenn Edwards | Refreshments will be served before the event in room 128.

Contact: Cristin Paul