One major limitation in laboratory X-ray tomography is that one can only image static samples, and that the acquisition of a single 3D image takes many minutes as 2D X-ray images of the sample are acquired at hundreds of different angles. If the sample moves during this time then the reconstructed 3D image will contain artifacts. However, much as the MPEG format can compress a movie to 1/100th of its original size, theoreticians in the Department of Applied Mathematics in RSPE are developing techniques to efficiently capture the changes in a sample between one moment and the next, so that only a few radiographs are needed for each 3D frame.
This project will collect X-ray images of dynamic systems as they evolve, and work with theoretical researchers to reconstruct this data into 4D datasets which are movies of the evolving structure. Some dynamic systems of interest are: fluid draining from porous materials; deformation of complex materials under mechanical stress; crystal nucleation and growing plants. All these sytems are of scientific value in their own right as well as providing data for dynamic tomography algorithms.