A Solution of the Phase Problem in the Structure Determination of Biological Macromolecules

  • R. L. Mössbauer
  • F. Parak
  • W. Hoppe
Part of the Topics in Current Physics book series (TCPHY, volume 25)


The structure determination of biological macromolecules by single-crystal diffraction techniques requires an experimental solution of the phase problem inherent in the structure analysis. This chapter describes a method for the phase determination which uses the nuclear resonance scattering of an 57Fe nucleus as reference. The basic features of the method are discussed and different techniques are compared. The pertinent amplitude for nuclear resonance scattering is derived. First test experiments on single crystals of myoglobin are described. Technical problems arise from the necessity of using gamma-ray sources with limited intensities. In particular, the optimization of 57Co sources, the development of large-area position-sensitive proportional counters, and the necessary freezing of protein crystals are discussed. The measuring time required for a structure determi nati on of bacterial catalase is estimated.


Bragg Reflection Phase Determination Resonance Scattering Phase Problem Reciprocal Lattice Point 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. L. Mössbauer
  • F. Parak
  • W. Hoppe

There are no affiliations available

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