Cartoon of SSX experimental setup
This animation is a cartoon of serial crystallography. There is quite a lot to unpack here. First, the liquid jet contains ten crystals of either cubic or octahedral symmetry, which tumble through 360o on their travel from the top to bottom. Every second crystal is hit by the x-ray pulses, shown in gold. Only one in five x-ray pulses hits a crystal. The crystals are also irradiated by a laser, shown as green pulses; these intersect with the liquid jet marginally before the x-rays as they would in a pump-probe experiment. If the crystal is hit by the x-rays, it briefly turns red to indicate it has been irradiated. Simultaneously, a diffraction pattern begins to propagate away towards the detector. Five different diffraction-pattern orientations are generated by a selection of five sets of random azimuthal and polar angles, so that each pattern is unique. This feature highlights the random nature of data acquisition in SSX. When the diffraction signal reaches the detector, it assumes a random selection of colours to indicate the different diffraction intensities.
If one plays this animation on loop, it continues smoothly, as the start and end conditions are made to be identical.
The matlab code uses the function platonic_solid.m, which I downloaded from MathsWorks File Exchange, and for which I acknowledge Kevin Moerman.