Abstract: Today, we can “see” every atom in a nanoparticle; and take pictures with temporal resolution approaching the time it takes electrons to orbit those atoms. (Although both of those resolution limits are not yet simultaneously achievable.) How do we “see” these things? The last 300 years of microscope development have focused almost exclusively on improving optics and making brighter illumination sources. This was made possible by the use of the human eye as a detector: The eye has high sensitivity, a very large dynamic range, and is directly connected to a high-performance image processor (the brain). As we progress to microscopies based on movies, rather than single images, we must find a substitute for the human eye. This talk will describe advances and challenges in detectors for X-ray and electron microscopies. The application of some of these techniques towards detection challenges in the brain will also be discussed.
Biography: Peter Denes, Ph.D., received a B.S. in Physics in 1980 and his Ph.D. in Physics in 1984 from the University of New Mexico. From 1985 to 2000, Dr. Denes was a senior research physicist at Princeton University. At Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California, where Dr. Denes has been since 2000, his work focuses on high-speed electron and soft Xray imaging detectors for in-situ microscopies. The high-speed electron microscopy detectors, which he has developed, have been pivotal in enabling the structural biology “resolution revolution,” somewhat akin to replacing blurred pictures with movies. His current research efforts aim to extend those techniques to massively parallel neural recording. In 2009, Dr. Denes was awarded the Secretary of the Department of Energy’s Excellence Award for his work on the Transmission Electron Aberration-Corrected Microscope project. In 2015, he received the Berkeley Laboratory Lifetime Achievement Award for pioneering development of direct detectors for electron and soft X-ray microscopy. Dr. Denes is a member of the American Physical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Dr. Denes received the 2017 Joseph F. Keithley Award for Advances in Measurement Science from the American Physical Society.