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Research Van Swinderen Institute

Physics colloquium, Samuli Siltanen (University of Helsinki, Finland): "The magic of math: three-dimensional X-ray vision"

When:Th 28-11-2019 16:00 - 17:00
Where:FSE-Building 5111.0080

Speaker: Samuli Siltanen
Affiliation: University of Helsinki, Finland
Title: "The magic of math: three-dimensional X-ray vision”
Date: 28 November 2019
Start: 16:00 (Doors open and coffee available at 15:30)
Location: FSE-Building 5111.0080
Host: Peter Dendooven


X-ray images were invented in the late 19th century and immediately found applications in medicine: bone fractures could be easily seen in radiographs. In the 1970’s a new X-ray based innovation was introduced. Tomography, or slice imaging, revealed the inner structure of a patient point by point as a three-dimensional map of tissues. This opened up a new world for doctors as they could do precise diagnosing based on these "CAT-scans.” Tomography is based on recording X-ray images of the patient along many directions, and then using mathematics in a clever way for combining the information into a 3D image. This talk explains that process in simple terms. An important research topic in modern mathematics is to look for a way to do tomographic imaging with the least possible amount of radiation dose to the patient. This is based on a process called regularisation, also illustrated in the talk in an easy-to-understand way. Also: there is a fun quiz revealing natural tomographers among the audience.