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Suggested Citation:"A Statement of Task." National Research Council. 2006. Visualizing Chemistry: The Progress and Promise of Advanced Chemical Imaging. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11663.
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A
Statement of Task

The National Research Council, through its Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology, will review the current state of molecular imaging technology, point to promising future developments and their applications, and suggest a research agenda to enable breakthrough improvements in our capacity to image molecular processes simultaneously in multiple physical dimensions as well as time. This review will:

  • Review the current state-of-the-art in chemical imaging, and identify likely short-term advances.

  • Identify gaps in our knowledge of the basic science that enables chemical imaging. Discuss the advances that would be opened if these gaps were addressed.

  • Utilizing this projection of future advances, develop a vision for the future of chemical imaging. Discuss the convergence of factors that make this vision timely. Identify major goals that could provide direction for prioritizing research aimed at advancing the field in the next 5 to 20 years.

  • Identify research required to meet this vision. Include research required in probing molecular systems, detecting the resulting signals, and in manipulating and interpreting the resulting datasets, and discuss the instrumentation required to carry out this research. Consider both experimental and theoretical advances required. Focus particularly on areas where differential investment would have its greatest impact.

  • Discuss educational and institutional innovations that could help catalyze advances in this field.

Suggested Citation:"A Statement of Task." National Research Council. 2006. Visualizing Chemistry: The Progress and Promise of Advanced Chemical Imaging. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11663.
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Scientists and engineers have long relied on the power of imaging techniques to help see objects invisible to the naked eye, and thus, to advance scientific knowledge. These experts are constantly pushing the limits of technology in pursuit of chemical imaging—the ability to visualize molecular structures and chemical composition in time and space as actual events unfold—from the smallest dimension of a biological system to the widest expanse of a distant galaxy. Chemical imaging has a variety of applications for almost every facet of our daily lives, ranging from medical diagnosis and treatment to the study and design of material properties in new products. In addition to highlighting advances in chemical imaging that could have the greatest impact on critical problems in science and technology, Visualizing Chemistry reviews the current state of chemical imaging technology, identifies promising future developments and their applications, and suggests a research and educational agenda to enable breakthrough improvements.

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