Proceedings of the Indian Academy of Sciences - Section A

, Volume 64, Issue 3, pp 157-172

First online:

A hybrid computer for X-ray crystallography

  • S. HarigovindanAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, Indian Institute of Science

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A hybrid computer for structure factor calculations in X-ray crystallography is described. The computer can calculate three-dimensional structure factors of up to 24 atoms in a single run and can generate the scatter functions of well over 100 atoms using Vandet al., or Forsyth and Wells approximations. The computer is essentially a digital computer with analog function generators, thus combining to advantage the economic data storage of digital systems and simple computing circuitry of analog systems. The digital part serially selects the data, computes and feeds the arguments into specially developed high precision digital-analog function generators, the outputs of which being d.c. voltages, are further processed by analog circuits and finally the sequential adder, which employs a novel digital voltmeter circuit, converts them back into digital form and accumulates them in a dekatron counter which displays the final result. The computer is also capable of carrying out 1-, 2-, or 3-dimensional Fourier summation, although in this case, the lack of sufficient storage space for the large number of coefficients involved, is a serious limitation at present.