This week, the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) hosts the second International Summer School of Crystallography. Following the success of the first Summer School last year, this year’s 31 participants of 17 different nationalities will spend an intense week learning the fundamentals of crystallography.
Crystallography, the science of crystal structure, underpins our understanding of matter ranging from rocks and minerals to high-tech semiconductors as well as providing the tools scientists use to study the structure of proteins and other biomolecules. UNESCO declared 2014 as the International Year of Crystallography, which was when summer school organiser Cornelius Gati (CUI, DESY) instigated the first International Summer School of Crystallography.
In the age of computers, it becomes more and more difficult to understand what the computer programmes that scientists use actually do. For this reason, the summer school will go into the mathematical background of these techniques, giving the participants a clear understanding of how their tools work and how to handle difficult crystallographic challenges in their research.
“Once again, we are greatly honoured to have a distinguished expert in the field of crystallography, Professor Carmelo Giacovazzo from the University of Bari, as our tutor. For one week he will guide us through the theory and history of crystallography,” said Gati. Financial and organisational support comes from the EU project BioStruct-X, the PIER Helmholtz Graduate School, the Hamburg Centre for Ultrafast Imaging (CUI), CFEL, the International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) for Ultrafast Imaging and Structural Dynamics, the European XFEL GmbH and DESY.