Workshop on Evolution and Control of Complexity:
Key Experiments Using Sources of Hard X-rays


During the past two centuries, much effort has gone into understanding various types of orders in systems obeying the laws of equilibrium thermodynamics as described using linear response theory or the Born-Oppenheimer approximation. On the other hand, the majority of processes in nature involve nonlinear behavior that obeys non-equilibrium thermodynamics from the flow of energy. Nature in its every manifestation exhibits far-away-from-equilibrium processes, leading to complexity of order. This is true from the Big Bang to the coming of humankind, from chemistry and biology to geosciences and medicine, and from materials engineering to energy sciences. In spite of the recurrence of non-equilibrium behavior in nature and, particularly, in every aspect of our daily activities, fundamental research is lacking on understanding the processes involved in the temporal evolution of complex order with precision.

Hence, there is a universal interest in understanding the non-equilibrium processes resulting from the optimized energy flows. How does the local order of higher complexity develop over time starting from an initial state of complete chaos formed from a sudden influx of energy? Is there a unifying theme that governs the processes behind the evolution of order? Such questions continue to intrigue scientists from a variety of disciplines, from cosmology to biology. To advance our fundamental understanding of the non-equilibrium science that will allow us to predict and control the evolution of the complexity, we need:

(a) Control of the flow of energy to the system, which is achieved by selecting an energy pump with suitable characteristics (wavelength, polarization, coherence, pulse width, intensity, etc.).

(b) Interrogation of the space-time evolution of the system using an appropriate hard x-ray spatiotemporal tool with suitable space and time resolution.

In the last five decades, much progress has been made in the development of hard x-ray sources and tools that strongly support the mission of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) programs. The characteristics of the hard x-ray sources, along with suitable x-ray optics and detectors should be able to measure the spatiotemporal structural evolution of dissipative structures with the highest precision, either in their native environment or when controlled by the flow of energy. This is true whether one is measuring a molecular system, a nanostructure, a chemical reaction, or a biological process. This workshop will identify unexplored opportunities in the emerging field of non-equilibrium processes where the focus will be on the use of hard x-ray spatiotemporal techniques.

The teams of experts in non-equilibrium science and engineering, laser science and technology, computational science, hard x-ray science, and source development will explore the required hard x-ray characteristics, and in turn exploit hard x-ray sources suitable to the support of a new community of users performing research in different focus areas of non-equilibrium science and engineering. The ultimate goal is to measure the time evolution of chaos or order using hard x-ray spatiotemporal tools. Various types of hard x-ray sources will be included in the discussion to support the experimental needs, and will include acceleartor-based compact sources (CS), storage ring (SR) sources, energy-recovery linac (ERL) sources, and x-ray free electron laser (XFEL) sources.


Workshop Registration

Abstract Submission
September 10, 2010

Argonne Guest House Room Reservation
September 30, 2010

Workshop Reception (Argonne Guest House)

Sunday - October 10, 2010, 17:00 – 18:30

Local Contact

Anne Owens, Workshop Coordinator


Uwe Bergmann (SLAC)
Gopal Shenoy (ANL)
Edgar Weckert (DESY)


Argonne National Laboratory DESY SLAC