Monday, May 2, 2011

Proposed gamma-ray laser could emit 'nuclear light'

Proposed gamma-ray laser could emit 'nuclear light': “In the nuclear gamma-ray laser, the photons are emitted by atomic nuclei.”
In the study, which is published in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters, Tkalya explains that a nuclear gamma-ray laser has to overcome at least two basic problems: accumulating a large amount of isomeric nuclei (nuclei in a long-lived excited state) and narrowing down the gamma-ray emission line. The new proposal fulfills these requirements by taking advantage of thorium’s unique nuclear structure, which enables some of the photons from an external laser to interact directly with thorium’s nuclei rather than its electrons.

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