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The algorithm [Bethanis, Tzamalis, Hountas & Tsoucaris (2002). Acta Cryst. A58, 265–269] which reformulates the quantum-mechanical problem of solving a Schrödinger (S) equation in a crystallographic context has been upgraded and tested for many aspects of convergence. The upgraded algorithm in reciprocal space aims at determining a wavefunction ΦH such that (a) ΦH fulfils the S equation within certain precision and (b) ΦH minimizes by least squares the differences between the calculated structure factors from the wavefunction and the observed ones. Calculations have been made with three molecules (11, 41 and 110 non-H atoms in the asymmetric unit) for different numbers of initially given phases. Three main questions have been addressed: (I) Does the iterative calculation of the wavefunction converge? (II) Do the calculated wavefunctions converge to a unique set of ΦH values independent of the initial random set of ΦH? (III) Is the calculated ΦH set a good approximation of a wavefunction able to produce within certain errors the correct values of the phases of the structure factors? Concerning questions (I) and (II), our results give a strong hint about fast convergence to a unique wavefunction independent of the arbitrary starting wavefunction. This is an essential prerequisite for practical applications. For question (III) in the case closer to the ab initio situation, the final mean phase error, respectively, for the three structures is 3, 26 and 28°. The combination of (a) and (b) in the upgraded algorithm has been proved crucial especially for the results concerning the larger structures.

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Illustrative schemes for the first and second parts of the algorithm

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