X-rays trigger gamma rays from hafnium isomer

X-rays trigger gamma rays from hafnium isomer

Prospects for a gamma-ray laser--commonly thought to be impossible due to the cubic dependence of subthreshold spontaneous emission power on frequency--have brightened. Physicists at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) describe development of an isomer of hafnium as a potential gamma-ray laser gain medium. With four of its nucleons in an excited metastable state, the isomer has a 31-year half-life and emits cascades of gamma rays when perturbed by soft x-rays. A single 40-keV photon triggers a gamma cascade with energy totaling 2.5 MeV, a 60X enhancement in energy. Produced by a process called proton spallation, the isomeric hafnium is capable of storing 1.3 GJ of releasable energy per gram.

Obtaining a sample of the material from Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (Los Alamos, NM), the UTD physicists teamed with researchers from five countries to experimentally trigger gamma-ray production. According to Carl Collins at UTD, the cross section of the hafnium is so large that the team was able to use an ordinary dental x-ray machine as the triggering source. As of yet, the emitted gamma rays are not coherent. Contact Carl Collins at cbc@utdallas.gifdu.

Most Popular Articles

Webcasts

Laser Measurements Critical to Successful Additive Manufacturing Processes

Maximizing the stability of the variables going into any manufacturing process is what ensures ts consistency and high quality. Specifically, when a laser is...

Ray Optics Simulations with COMSOL Multiphysics

The Ray Optics Module can be used to simulate electromagnetic wave propagation when the wavelength is much smaller than the smallest geometric entity in the ...

Multichannel Spectroscopy: Technology and Applications

This webcast, sponsored by Hamamatsu, highlights some of the photonic technology used in spectroscopy, and the resulting applications.

Handheld Spectrometers

Spectroscopy is a powerful and versatile tool that traditionally often required a large and bulky instrument. The combination of compact optics and modern pa...

Fracking, climate change, and lasers:  new tools to reduce fugitive methane emissions

This webcast, sponsored by Hamamatsu Corporation, covers recent developments and field deployments of compact quantum-cascade-laser (QCL)-based methane senso...

Opportunities in the Mid-IR

The technology for exploiting the mid-IR is developing rapidly:  it includes quantum-cascade lasers and other sources, spectroscopic instruments of many...
White Papers

All About Aspheric Lenses

The most notable benefit of aspheric lenses is their ability to correct for spherical aberration....

Wavelength stabilized multi-kW diode laser systems

Wavelength stabilization of high-power diode laser systems is an important means to increase the ...

Narrow-line fiber-coupled modules for DPAL pumping

A new series of fiber coupled diode laser modules optimized for DPAL pumping is presented, featur...
Technical Digests

REMOTE FIBER-OPTIC SENSING: Data in abundance from difficult environments

The use of optical fibers to measure strain, temperature, and other parameters at desired points ...

SCANNERS FOR MATERIALS PROCESSING: Serving demanding applications

Galvanometer-based scanners are an essential component in laser-based materials-processing system...

OPTICAL COATINGS: Evolving technology produces new benefits

The antireflection, high-reflection, and/or spectral characteristics provided by optical coatings...

FREEFORM OPTICS: Top-notch capabilities lead to expanded possibilities

The use of free-form aspherical surfaces in an optical system can give it abilities impossible to...

Click here to have your products listed in the Laser Focus World Buyers Guide.

RELATED PRODUCTS

PRESS RELEASES

AFL Recipient of Three Technology Patents

10/03/2013 Five AFL associates were recognized for receiving patent awards for their work developing new pro...

AFL Introduces Fujikura Fixed V-groove Single Fiber

10/03/2013 AFL introduces the Fujikura 19S fusion splicer, a new fixed v-groove single fiber splicer, the la...

AFL’s Five-Year Warranty Sets New Standard

10/03/2013 AFL increased the warranty period on NOYES® Optical Power Meters (OPM), Optical Light Sources (OL...

AFL Introduces New Family of NYFORS™ Recoating Products

10/03/2013 AFL now offers Nyfors Teknologi AB’s new family of recoating products including the ReCoater 2™, ...
Social Activity
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Copyright © 2007-2015. PennWell Corporation, Tulsa, OK. All Rights Reserved.PRIVACY POLICY | TERMS AND CONDITIONS