How to Transmute Elements with Laser Light� - Technology Review: The idea is to stimulate nuclear reactions using powerful laser beams. At a specific frequency, these beams cause a nucleus to resonate violently, triggering the nuclear reaction and effectively shaking it apart. And since almost all the photons trigger a reaction, this process can be close to 100 per cent efficient.
So for example, Ejiri and Daté say this method transmutes iodine-127 into the medical isotope iodine -126 with an abundance of 100 per cent. And it can do it at a rate of up to 10^13 nuclei per second.
This has big advantages over the current techniques. First, it is possible to tune the frequency of the light so that it triggers specific reactions, allowing physicists to choose exactly what they want to make. Second, the resulting samples are relatively pure. And finally, this technique creates few, if any, nasty radioactive byproducts and so is more environmentally friendly.