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Alpha-decay of uranium

  1. Feb 4, 2010 #1
    Hello. I would ask you can a powerful laser beam increase probability of nuclear alpha-decay of uranium. And can we light chain reaction of nuclear alpha-decay of enriched uranium with a mass much less then critical mass by a laser?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 4, 2010 #2


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    If you're talking about a visible light laser, then the answer is no. The energy scale of nuclear excitations is MeV, while visible light photons are eV. It's conceivable that you could do it with a gamma-ray laser, but nobody knows how to build a gamma-ray laser.
  4. Feb 5, 2010 #3
    A powerful visible light laser also heat substance. Thereby molecules of uranium increase its energy and begin come into collision with each other. If a laser has enough capacity the energy which transform in energy of disturbance of uranium nuclei after collision may be more than Mev.
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