I'm working on a science fiction novel, so feel free to ignore reality if you bother to answer this. In my book (rough draft) I was using laser beams to transfer data. Essentially imagine a relay of nodes between the earth and Mars. Each node contains at least one (and probably more) laser beam and a receiver. The laser simply points at the next node in the relay, like a network, and data is transferred from point to point like fiber optics without the fiber. So here's the thing, I was wondering how to power this contraption snd since this is completely sepeculative, began to imagine, instead of laser light, a focused beam of either hydrogen or helium atoms. Suddenly I was imagining binary being accomplished with neutral atoms being equal to zero, and ions being equal to ones. As an added bonus the stream of atoms could be used as a power source. So, here are my questions: Imagine a beam of Hydrogen atoms. How fast could these travel? The advantage of a laser is that it goes the speed of light. But a single atom of Hydrogen doesn't weigh much, and could probably be excellerated a lot. I think. How much would solar winds affect my beam? Is a beam of Hydrogen travelling in a straight line over long distances even hypothetically possible?