Elemental Press

  1. Hello, I wanted to know if it was possible to create a machine that can convert elements to those of your choosing? The most likely canadidate(and only canidate) is transmutation by fusion or fission. I know this is a physics forum but this stuff is covered in physics and you guys are pretty smart. How would this be possible, not possible, etc. It was achieved before by the way. Note that energy required and radiation should not be a problem. If theoretically possible then what applications obvious or not, would they have.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. mathman

    mathman 6,754
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    There are such things - physics labs have this capability. The only commercially valuable products are trans-uranium elements used in for example CO or smoke detectors (?).
  4. You can't choose any element you want. It has to be a product of some technically achievable nuclear reaction. There can be several competing reactions going on, so you end up with a mix of various products, most of which are probably not what you want.

    Your best best is probably some kind of breeder reactor which uses neutron bombardment to convert some elements to some nearby elements.
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