Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Are Alpha-Ray Lasers Possible?

Since α rays are bosons, it should be theoretically possible for α rays to stimulate more α-ray emission. If it's possible to do that in the real world, it would be possible to have compact sources of nuclear power. What's even more important, it might even be possible to accelerate α decay, so we don't have to wait “500,000 years” (a ridiculous figure, but that's a different rant).

On the other hand, this seems obvious enough for it have been researched, so I guess it didn't pan out.


Anonymous Kent said...

The problem is that you need a wave cavity. The wavelength of alphas is on the order of the nuclear radius, so manufacturing a wave cavity a precisely integral number of wavelengths long could be difficult.

Also, you have to have reflectors at the ends of the cavity. That might also be difficult.

It would be cool if it worked, though.

4:51 PM  

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