Does radioactive decay exhibit stimulated emission?

In summary: This is why stimulated gamma emission, which requires a high energy and probability, is extremely rare and difficult to achieve in laboratory conditions. In summary, the photons emitted from radioactive decay do not have enough energy to cause spontaneous emission in nearby atoms, and the probability of it occurring is very low. This is why stimulated gamma emission is rare and difficult to achieve in laboratory conditions.
  • #1
TL;DR Summary
Electron energy levels exhibit stimulated emission. Why not nuclear energy levels?
If you have a lump of the same species of radioactive isotopes, why can't the photons emitted from the radioactive decay of one nucleus cause spontaneous emission from other atoms?
I presume it doesn't, because if it did, there would be a geometric effect of radioactive decay, which is not observed.
 
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  • #2
Stimulated gamma emission in nuclear decay do exist but is extremely exotic due small absorbtion cross-sections. Considered most promising Ta-180m was demonstrated to have stimulated gamma emission in laboratory, but the gain is just 0.03 of necessary to make a gamma-laser.
 
  • #3
This is because the photons emitted from radioactive decay are not strong enough to cause spontaneous emission in nearby atoms. Spontaneous emission occurs when an electron in an excited state emits a photon and returns to its ground state. In order for this to happen, the energy of the photon must be equal to the energy difference between the two states. The photons emitted from radioactive decay have a specific energy determined by the isotope's half-life, and it is not always the same as the energy difference between excited and ground states of other atoms. Therefore, the photons emitted from radioactive decay do not have enough energy to cause spontaneous emission in nearby atoms. Additionally, the probability of a photon causing spontaneous emission is very low, so even if the energy was sufficient, it is unlikely to occur.
 

1. What is radioactive decay?

Radioactive decay is the process by which an unstable atomic nucleus loses energy by emitting radiation in the form of particles or electromagnetic waves. This process occurs spontaneously and is not affected by external factors.

2. What is stimulated emission?

Stimulated emission is a process in which an atom or molecule in an excited state releases energy by emitting a photon of the same frequency and phase as the incident radiation. This process is the basis for the functioning of lasers.

3. How does radioactive decay exhibit stimulated emission?

In some cases, radioactive decay can exhibit stimulated emission. This occurs when an excited nucleus decays and releases a gamma ray photon that stimulates another nucleus to decay and release another photon. This process can continue in a chain reaction, resulting in a burst of gamma rays.

4. What is the significance of stimulated emission in radioactive decay?

The occurrence of stimulated emission in radioactive decay can result in a more rapid release of energy compared to spontaneous emission. This can have implications for the safety and management of radioactive materials.

5. Is stimulated emission a common phenomenon in all types of radioactive decay?

No, stimulated emission is only observed in certain types of radioactive decay, such as gamma decay. It is not a common phenomenon in all types of radioactive decay, as it depends on the specific energy levels and properties of the nuclei involved.

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