Ultrafast imaging and the phase problem for inelastic X-ray scattering

Peter Abbamonte, Gerard C.L. Wong, David G. Cahill, James P. Reed, Robert H. Coridan, Nathan W. Schmidt, Ghee Hwee Lai, Young Il Joe, Diego Casa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A new method for imaging ultrafast dynamics in condensed matter using inelastic X-ray scattering (IXS) is described. Using the concepts of causality and irreversibility a general solution to the inverse scattering problem (or "phase problem") for IXS is illustrated, which enables direct imaging of dynamics of the electron density with resolutions of ∼1 attosecond (10-18 s) in time and <1 Å in space. This method is not just Fourier transformation of the IXS data, but a means to impose causality on the data and reconstruct the charge propagator. The method can also be applied to inelastic electron or neutron scattering. A general outline of phenomena that can and cannot be studied with this technique and an outlook for the future is provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1141-1147
Number of pages7
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 12 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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