Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Antimatter Molecule Should Boost Laser Power

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the i-hope-that-annihilation-ray-laser-is-for-peaceful-purposes dept.

Sci-Fi 211

Laser Lover writes "Molecules made by combining an electron with their anti-particle positron have been created by researchers at the University of California Riverside. The team's long term goal is to use the exotic material to create 'an annihilation gamma ray laser', potentially one million times more powerful than existing lasers. 'An electron can hook up with its antiparticle, the positron, to form a hydrogen-like atom called positronium (Ps). It survives for less than 150 nanoseconds before it is annihilated in a puff of gamma radiation. It was known that two positronium atoms should be able to bind together to form a molecule ... '"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

iran (0, Flamebait)

wwmedia (950346) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665149)

would it be ready in time for the upcoming war with iran?

Re:iran (1)

tibike77 (611880) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665209)

No, but maybe for the upcoming war with the Zorkanoids from the QF-P73 Nebula or somesuch.
Seriously.

Re:iran (2, Insightful)

polar red (215081) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665285)

I don't think that would effect the outcome of such a war ... The Us has 10 times stronger military material in Iraq, and they are not winning ... You Can't END a war with weapons, only with words (can someone SHOUT that to the neocons please?)

Re:iran (1)

Xiaran (836924) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665475)

Force is all-conquering but its victories are short lived.

Abraham Lincoln

Re:iran (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20665661)

You Can't END a war with weapons, only with words
I think Japan would beg to differ.

Re:iran (3, Informative)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665811)

I disagree, while nuclear weapons may have hastened the end of the war, the "end" came in the form of a formal surrender.

If the US had not sought out or accepted the surrender of Japan the war would have continued in one form or another. Even if what one side is communicating is "give up or we do that again" it is still two sides meeting and making an agreement (the surrender was indeed negotiated, the US did compromise on the removal of the Emperor for instance) that ended the Pacific campaign.
 

Re:iran (2, Insightful)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665989)

Correction, it was an unconditional surrender, but MacArthur realized how important the Emperor was and that if he removed or even approached him first (instead of letting the Emperor request his audience) the people would have revolted. They truly would not have given a fuck, you don't fuck with the Emperor cause he was pretty much a god on earth to them.

Re:iran (1)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 7 years ago | (#20666193)

So the surrender was agreed to because MacArthur did his research and presented terms that would be acceptable?

I will agree that there is a subtle difference but the outcome is the same.

Re:iran (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 7 years ago | (#20666897)

The surrender was agreed to either way. MacArthur decided on how he would act once he got there and understood fully the reverance the japanese had for the Emperor.

Re:iran (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 7 years ago | (#20666027)

I disagree, while nuclear weapons may have hastened the end of the war, the "end" came in the form of a formal surrender.

Then you have so diluted the word "win" that it no longer has any meaning. It is like saying fists don't win a fight because my opponent begged for mercy and I stopped beating him. You are arguing that it was his begging that stopped the fight. The fact is that military CAN win a war through force alone, but our society (thankfully) puts a brake on that type of activity.

Re:iran (1)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 7 years ago | (#20666175)

That depends on the objectives of the attacker, if I use your example there are two possible objectives the "puncher" could have. One is to kill the opponent, the other is for the other party to relent (beg for mercy if you will). I would argue in this case the defeated is initiating the end of the conflict by choosing the lesser of the two negative outcomes once it is established that there is no winning.

Missing the point (2, Insightful)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 7 years ago | (#20666789)

You beat the tar out of him, he's humiliated, and goes away for a few days, then he comes back and shoots you in the back.

You didn't win a war, there, you won a fight. The two are not the same thing.

You fight him, make it clear that you're going to win, and then talk with him such that he gets a way out and hostilities turn into a mutually acceptable relationship -- that's winning a war. You need the fists, but you also need some intelligent action.

This is not to say that there are not occasions where the fists are the ONLY intelligent thing, but that means your opponent is one stupid piece of crap. Such people exist, and they're more likely to be part of a bar fight, but I don't think the metaphor extends to nations often, if at all, as nations are large groups of people, not just one Saddam.

Re:iran (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20667607)

> The fact is that military CAN win a war through force alone, but our society (thankfully) puts a brake on that type of activity.

Thankfully?

Only thankfully for the enemy. Since WW2, every war we've fought has been a bloody stalemate at best, and a loss at worst. Korea was a draw, Vietnam was a loss, Gulf War I was a draw, Afghanistan was a loss, Gulf War II was a loss, and if we fight it, Iran will also be a loss.

Strategic bombing works, but it requires overkill. The London Blitz wasn't enough. Dresden and Tokyo weren't enough. You have to flatten every city within hundreds of miles, and keep the cities flattened and smoldering for the better part of a year, but a civilian population's will, no matter how fanatical at the onset of a conflict, can be broken.

Come up with a way of breaking a civilian population's will short of that, and the world's generals will be only too delighted to try it. Diplomacy and propaganda are superb tools before the guns start firing, but the past 60 years have shown that nothing short of wholesale extermination is effective in winning wars. It's brutal, it's ugly, and that's why they call it war, not sitting down for tea.

Re:iran (1)

Peter Nikolic (1093513) | more than 7 years ago | (#20666993)

Here we go again .. i have noticed recently on /. that all these comments soon as you like go so far WAY WAY WAY off topic that they cease to becom relavent to the original article . The article was not HOW the West whupped on nippns butt ,, it was about a new form of Laser that has far more than JUST war USE !! .. Oh and BTW one of the biggest mistakes made was cancelling the Neutron device and yse i would not hesitate in using ALL weapons at my disposal to solve a problem ie Iran ect ect ect

Re:iran (4, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665783)

You Can't END a war with weapons, only with words

That is not true. Many civilizations no longer exist because they were destroyed by another. We, as a society, are unwilling to accept the measures needed to really win a military war. For this I am thankful. But saying that military might can't end a war is completely false.

Re:iran (5, Insightful)

polar red (215081) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665821)

The only real way to win a war millitarily then, is to totally annihillate the enemy. And that is no longer an option when you can't tell for sure who is your enemy and who isn't. And the fact that you kill a million people creates new enemies.

Re:iran (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 7 years ago | (#20666805)

Besides, who would package up the oil to send over?

You CAN end a war with weapons (1)

maillemaker (924053) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665915)

You most certainly CAN end a war with weapons.

But you can't win a war with one eye on CNN to gage the public response to your use of your weapons. That is why we won't use our weapons to win wars anymore.

Re:You CAN end a war with weapons (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 7 years ago | (#20666011)

tell me, which war was won by weapons ?

Re:You CAN end a war with weapons (1)

maillemaker (924053) | more than 7 years ago | (#20666121)

You can't think of any?

Re:You CAN end a war with weapons (2, Interesting)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 7 years ago | (#20666217)

tell me, which war was won by weapons ?

Carthagio delenda est.

Re:You CAN end a war with weapons (0, Troll)

dave420 (699308) | more than 7 years ago | (#20666059)

You can end a war with weapons, but war itself is something no-one can win.

Why the US isn't using its weapons is because the US has no right to be where it currently is, let alone kill thousands upon thousands more innocent people, and still not "win". You can't blow up an idea, especially if each attempt just makes more followers.

Re:You CAN end a war with weapons (4, Insightful)

maillemaker (924053) | more than 7 years ago | (#20666163)

>Why the US isn't using its weapons is because the US has no right to be where it currently is,

Whether or not the US has any right to be where it currently is, the reason why it isn't unchaining its military to lay waste to the region, ala Dresden, Nagasaki, etc., is because the aftermath would be on CNN in 15 minutes.

>You can't blow up an idea, especially if each attempt just makes more followers.

You can't blow up an idea, but if you blow up enough people you can break the will of people to act on those ideas. It just takes sufficient force. We are unwilling to apply that kind of force in Iraq, and, consequently, we are having no effect on the will of our enemies there. In fact, in all likelyhood we are actually enhancing their will by being there.

Re:iran (1)

Damastus the WizLiz (935648) | more than 7 years ago | (#20666125)

Genocide will end a war pretty thoroughly. No words needed.

Re:iran (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20667139)

And ultimately, that is the only way to end the "War on terror"
sad but true. Mecca, then Medina.

forgot one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20666335)

you can't hug a child with nuclear arms.....(x_x)

Re:iran (1)

Ihlosi (895663) | more than 7 years ago | (#20666595)

You Can't END a war with weapons,



Only if you care about public opinion. If you don't, just turn the war zone into radioactive slag.

Re:iran (1)

notasheep (220779) | more than 7 years ago | (#20666865)

I would state this differently: You can't win the peace with weapons.

The USSR took over many countries with the use of weapons, then went bankrupt with the burden of the cost of maintaining their victories with the use of weapons. (So did the Roman Empire.) It's a lesson with lots of examples throughout history.

Re:iran (1)

littlewink (996298) | more than 7 years ago | (#20667281)

You Can't END a war with weapons...


Well, yes you can. I don't recall hearing much from Carthage [enotes.com] in the last 2000 years.

We've already won any war in Iraq. We should not have overstayed our welcome, however.

Re:iran (1)

mappemonde (1052784) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665537)

http://imdb.com/title/tt0089886/ [imdb.com] Do you think this movie possibly saw the future 22 years ago? I suppose it is possible.

Integrated GOAT.CX and antimatter laser (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20665153)

First post!

Oh dear (4, Funny)

jsiren (886858) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665157)

Now I'm afraid to plug in my PS/2 mouse.

Re:Oh dear (1)

gmf (810466) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665657)

Now I'm afraid to plug in my PS/2 mouse.
Don't worry, if it's only half a PS (the electron part, I presume) you should be safe...

Could we use it on sharks? (5, Informative)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665161)

Because that's what they were saying the first time [slashdot.org] this was posted.

Re:Could we use it on sharks? (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665245)

I know I tagged this as "dupe" on the Firehose yesterday.

Re:Could we use it on sharks? (2, Funny)

bigdavesmith (928732) | more than 7 years ago | (#20666693)

You can't blame people for being excited about new ways to kill each other.

Re:Could we use it on sharks? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20665573)

Every article on the front page was put there by Zonk; either my computer is punishing me for something, or we're going to see a lot of dupes in the near future...

I have a solution! We need an anti-dupe! (2, Funny)

tgd (2822) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665703)

Laser Lover didn't writes "Molecules made by combining an electron with their anti-particle positron have not been created by researchers at the University of California Riverside. The team's long term goal is to never use the exotic material to create 'an creation gamma ray laser', potentially one million times less powerful than existing lasers. 'An electron can't hook up with its antiparticle, the positron, to form a hydrogen-like atom called positronium (Ps). It can't possibly survive for less than 150 nanoseconds before it isn't annihilated in a puff of gamma radiation. It wasn't known that two positronium atoms shouldn't be able to bind together to form a molecule ... '"

There, now the dupe and anti-dupe can form a stable dupe atom, which can bind with other dupe atoms to form powerful dupe lase.... oh dear GOD NO!!!

Re:I have a solution! We need an anti-dupe! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20666287)

I'd swear I saw MacGuyver create a quantum particle coalescing raygun from three pieces of cheese and some wire. It made everything stick together. It also had a reverse setting to unscramble eggs. And was used by SCO to disassemble code.

Re:Could we use it on sharks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20666221)

No, the first time it was posted, it was theoretically possible to create positronium. Now they've actually made some - a tiny, tiny teensy little bit.

They were only able to make a few atoms.

It's going to be quite a while before they make any lasers with this stuff. TFA (which I saw yesterday) isn't clear how they're going to make gamma ray lasers out of the stuff. The only guess I (a layman) can make is that they'll use the decaying positronium to create the gamma rays, and conventional crystals as in existing lasers to beam them coherently.

I also can't figure out WTF anybody would do with a gamma ray laser, except perhaps for nuclear fusion or particle accelerators. And killing sharks!

-mcgrew [kuro5hin.org]

To what end? (2, Interesting)

Big Nothing (229456) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665169)

Granted, more powerful lasers would be great for long-distance communications, but what kind of materials could be used in fiber-optic cables to transmit gamma rays? What kind of insulation would the cable have to use?

Re:To what end? (1)

pavium (557126) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665211)

I believe a conventional laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) operates by reflecting radiation between a mirrored surface and a parallel semi-mirrored surface. The distance between the mirrors is a mutiple of the radiation's wavelength.

What reflects gamma rays?

Re:To what end? (2, Interesting)

mhall119 (1035984) | more than 7 years ago | (#20667333)

Conventional lasers use electricity or chemical reaction to stimulate radiation emission from some material. I would assume they are going to use the gamma rays to do this, and not lasing the gamma rays themselves.

Re:To what end? (1)

garompeta (1068578) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665269)

insulation? lots of mass with high atomic number and high density. lots. this laser will be useful only for killing.

Re:To what end? (5, Funny)

cloudwilliam (517411) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665675)

To crush our enemies, see them driven before us, and hear the lamentations of their women.

Re:To what end? (1)

bilabrin (1127623) | more than 7 years ago | (#20666457)

I think the bigger issue is how much power would one of these things consume?

Re:To what end? (1)

alexj33 (968322) | more than 7 years ago | (#20666691)

No, the bigger issue is, how much will the sharks wearing them consume?

Oh yes... (3, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665175)

While being so excited that it's a million times more powerful, we forgot to say it'll be a million times more expensive. You don't find antimatter laying on the ground you know!

Re:Oh yes... (5, Informative)

lexarius (560925) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665471)

Positrons aren't actually that hard to find. All you need is (trying to remember Chem 2) an isotope that produces beta+ radiation. Heard of a PET scan? The P is for Positron. They put some radioactive sugar in your brain and map where the annihilations occur to determine brain activity.

Re:Oh yes... (1)

StarfishOne (756076) | more than 7 years ago | (#20666009)

If positrons are not hard to find, why am I still not seeing any androids with positronic brains walking around all over the place? :P

Re:Oh yes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20666559)

Because it doesn't really work that way?

The containment to keep positrons from annihilating in contact with the electrons in the wires/conduits inside of the android's head would be too expensive/huge to be practical. The reason they're useful for this laser thing is because when they come into contact with regular matter (electrons) they convert into energy and gamma rays. An android walking around town with a head full of positrons would be a bigger radiation hazard than if we were trucking plutonium around in the backs of garbage trucks.

Re:Oh yes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20666455)

What's the problem? Just search for it on the antiground!

Re:Oh yes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20666957)

Well, I found some anti-matter in the lint trap of my clothes dryer. At least I hope that's what it was. It tasted like anti-matter, anyway.

Nature article (4, Informative)

teridon (139550) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665177)

Can you hear the H bomb's thunder? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20665179)

Does this have any application other than in "defence"? I imagine it takes vast amounts of energy to create the positronium and so that means a H bomb.

Essentially this then becomes a way of concentrating some of the power of a H bomb into an extremely powerful but very narrow beam - eg in anti-missile "defence".

Re:Can you hear the H bomb's thunder? (1)

HappyHead (11389) | more than 7 years ago | (#20666621)

Well, aside from applications in "defense", the most likely application of this technology would be "offense". Being able to poke holes in pretty much _anything_ from a long distance away is a pretty good way of attacking someone. A few of these in a network of orbiting "communications satellites" would make a very effective means of reducing enemy locations to rubble - just target key installations such as fuel refineries and ammunitions storage, and the secondary explosions would take care of the rest.

Of course, there's probably some non-combat related applications for this type of technology as well, there have been discussions of methods of propulsion for space-craft that employ lasers as a means of producing thrust - more powerful lasers create more thrust. (and a bigger hole in whatever the thruster is pointed at...) Additionally, if we wanted to set up a "communications laser" to send messages to another solar system, a laser of this magnitude would be useful.

Obligitory (2, Funny)

SPY_jmr1 (768281) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665181)

So would the sharks be a million times more powerful, or could we just use one million *tiny* fricking lasers?

super-atom condensate???? (3, Informative)

boxxxie (1158849) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665193)

they mean a Bose-Einstein condensate. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bose%E2%80%93Einstein_condensate/ [wikipedia.org]

Re:super-atom condensate???? (2, Funny)

SplatMan_DK (1035528) | more than 7 years ago | (#20667245)

[fakequote]
they mean a Bozo-Einstein compensate. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bozo%E2%80%93Einstein_compensate/ [wikipedia.org]
[/fakequote]
I totally object to your post!

Einstein was certainly not a Bozo, and nobody should be compensated for saying that!

Annoying (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665203)

Damn it, how long will it be before the teenagers at my local cinema have one of these?

Re:Annoying (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665943)

Damn it, how long will it be before the teenagers at my local cinema have one of these?

Judging by what's on the screen, not soon enough.

Old fashioned ... (4, Funny)

SplatMan_DK (1035528) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665205)

Lasers?

That won't even penetrate our navigational shields!

Where are your phasers?

Something mentioned earlier. (3, Funny)

z0M6 (1103593) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665225)

Next on /.! DIY positronium laser using household items.

Laser (1)

mhannibal (1121487) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665227)

May be annihilation gamma ray laser can destroy the dupes of slashdot? Nothing else seems to work...

More info (3, Informative)

robably (1044462) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665309)

There's an interview with David Cassidy about this in the 13th September Nature Podcast [nature.com] (the page also has the podcast as a direct MP3 download and a transcript).

Re:More info (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665433)

Not THE David Cassidy?

Re:More info (1)

robably (1044462) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665439)

Not THE David Cassidy?
The guy in TFA. I know I know, nobody reads the article.

Re:More info (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 7 years ago | (#20666179)

Not THE David Cassidy?
The guy in TFA. I know I know, nobody reads the article.
Get off my lawn! [wikipedia.org] Kids these days!
 

Frickin lasers strapped to their rockets (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20665315)

i doubt a mod will even see this with an AC attatched to it, but, meh.
try relating this idea with this one
http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/09/13/2328233 [slashdot.org]
iirc a few people were curious as to what it may take to get this off the ground (pun so intended) as it were. =P

Obligatory quote. (1)

d3m0nCr4t (869332) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665359)

"Tonight on "It's the mind" we examine the phenomenon of déjà-vu, that strange feeling we sometimes get that we've lived through something before."

Rocky Horror (1)

Kenshin (43036) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665385)

All I have to say is: "Yes, Dr. Scott, a laser capable of emitting a beam of pure anti-matter."

Re:Rocky Horror (1)

austinpoet (789122) | more than 7 years ago | (#20666473)

So's my putz.

Sharks with WMD's (1)

doit3d (936293) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665421)

The sharks will be happy.

Re:Sharks with WMD's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20667107)

I first read this as "Sharks with WDM" That is what would make me happy if I were a shark.

Molecules...? (1, Interesting)

FlyByPC (841016) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665427)

I was somehow led to believe that a molecule was produced by the combination of two atoms -- which each have at least one proton (in the case of Hydrogen). How does combining an electron with a positron (both very very low mass particles; think "mosquitoes" compared to the "elephant" protons and neutrons in the nucleus) equal an atom -- let alone two or more atoms to equal a molecule?

It may be cool, but perhaps we need a new name for it. Molecule just doesn't fit; sorry.

Re:Molecules...? (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665493)

Indeed. I always thought an "atom" was "something with an equal number of protons and electrons". I don't see how an electron/anti-electron pair fits that definition.

Re:Molecules...? (0)

blockhouse (42351) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665539)

I get the idea that the non-scientist who wrote this article has no clue what he's talking about, and that casts aspersions on the credibility of the whole article. Positrons and electrons have the same mass, which is several orders of magnitude less massive than a proton. Positronium really isn't hydrogen-like at all.

It all sounds like Harry Potter magic BS to me. Expecto positronium!

Re:Molecules...? (2, Interesting)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 7 years ago | (#20666251)

I get the idea that the non-scientist who wrote this article has no clue what he's talking about,...
Sounds like most of slashdot then.

I would hazard a guess (note - guess as I have not yet purchased yesterdays new scientist and read the full article) that this works as the two particles they are combining actually have opposing charge. This should get around the equal number of protons and electrons rule as the net charge of the atom will still be zero.

Since neutrons are not a necessary part of an atom this should work. The wikipedia page on hydrogen is fairly detailed so should enable you to see some similarities:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen [wikipedia.org]

Of course the big difference though will be the atomic weight as this will be close to negligible. This is probably why the resultant particle is so short lived as the two components of the atom are the same mass they would behave more like a dipole where both orbit each other rather than one being a stationary nucleus with orbiting electron.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dipole [wikipedia.org]

What I would like to know is how they plan on making this form a stable molecule so I will be buying new-scientist to find out.

(Disclaimer - I flunked my degree in Physics some time ago so this may all be bullshit, if you think it is please post a detailed explanation of why and mention your level of physics education if possible. Please also do not bother pointing out that I am using the Bohr model of the electron and discrediting it UNLESS you can specifically state why it does not apply in this case.)

Atom is a bad word for it (2, Insightful)

el_munkie (145510) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665695)

But mass is less relevant than you may think. The electron-positron pair is held together by the Coulomb force, which is the same force that binds the proton and the electron. The electron-positron system has a net electric charge of 0, making it electrically neutral.

As I said in the title, maybe "atom" is a bad word to describe this system. However, the word "atom" comes from a Greek word meaning "indivisible", and since we've since discovered that what we call atoms are divisible after all, the word isn't even appropriate in its accepted usage.

Re:Molecules...? (1)

Skylax (1129403) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665787)

In Quantummechanics you can treat a positronium in the same way as a hydrogenatom. Basically, you first transform into the center of mass system and then solve the schrödinger-equation for the electron with a so called reduced mass to get its wavefunction. This wavefunction is equal to the hydrogen-electron-wavefunction except for the mass-factor. So the physical and chemical behaviour of Ps is similar to that of a hydrogenatom, so as long as the positron doesn't annihilate with another electron. Due to the different masses however ionisation energies and other things are different. This justifies calling Ps an atom and covalent binding of two Ps a molecule (of course again with lower reduced mass causing for example differences in rotation-excitation-states). In this way, the name molecule does fit very well,sorry.

Re:Molecules...? (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 7 years ago | (#20666297)

Basically, you first transform into the center of mass system and then solve the schrödinger-equation for the electron with a so called reduced mass to get its wavefunction.
Which is not so easy if the centre of mass is the halfway point between the two constituents.

Re:Molecules...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20666823)

Wait, isn't this what Val Kilmer did in Real Genius?

Ascendancy/Galactic Civ tech tree anyone? (1)

rgaginol (950787) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665449)

Seriously, does it at all feel like we're on the Ascendancy/ Galactic Civ tech tree? And that we've skipped ahead a few too many techs? Sheesh.

Re:Ascendancy/Galactic Civ tech tree anyone? (1)

FusionDragon2099 (799857) | more than 7 years ago | (#20667369)

Meh. Call me back when we get Disruptors.

Exposure may result in green eyes (1)

garlicbready (846542) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665453)

I read the part about Gamma Rays and the part "potentially one million times more powerful than existing lasers"
the first thing that sprung to mind, is the author David Banner?
the next thing would be the warning on the side of the device

Warning exposure may result in green eyes when changing a tyre
loss of memory / Loss of Hair / or extreme Hulkism with hilarious consequences

Burning your gamma ray candle in both ends (5, Informative)

viking80 (697716) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665467)

To conserve momentum (and other) at least two photons are released in opposite direction when the two particles annihilate each other. If this is part of a gamma ray laser, you will have two rays: One aimed at your enemy, one in your face, and a mirror will probably not work at 0.5MeV.

Re: Burning your gamma ray candle in both ends (1)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 7 years ago | (#20666483)

If it's truly a part of a laser, they'll have "mirrors" (of one sort or another) to ensure phase coherence anyway.

Re: Burning your gamma ray candle in both ends (1)

Catbeller (118204) | more than 7 years ago | (#20667529)

If they can rig a "mirror", you get a photon drive for spacecraft. Hell, for starships. I'd like to see that mirror. I've no doubt some clever wanker can exploit physics to do it, and I await his/her paper.

So this had better be shoulder fired... (1)

shis-ka-bob (595298) | more than 7 years ago | (#20666503)

like a bazooka. The blow back would prevent this from being shoulder fired. Still, this would be a cool support weapon to back up your Gauss rifle shock troops.

Forget TFA (1)

Random BedHead Ed (602081) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665625)

Forget TFA. All you need to know to write a gut-reaction reply is contained in the wonderful phrase 'annihilation gamma ray laser.' Let's start: Have scientists gone too far? Could this be used as a weapon? Could it fall into the wrong hands? React away. :-)

Uses? (1)

kevmatic (1133523) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665649)

If they do manage to create a powerful laser like this, could it be used to power stuff, like the Space Elevator?

The Article seems to imply, though, that it only lasts a couple hundred nanoseconds. I wonder if it can be sustained. Otherwise, its killing-only :(

Never mind sharks... (1)

Hanners1979 (959741) | more than 7 years ago | (#20665651)

Will we be developing Evangelions to fire these?

Sharks... meh (1)

Aneurism75 (1048530) | more than 7 years ago | (#20666137)

Two words... DEATH STAR! :D

whatever happened to the term "graser" ? (1)

DriveDog (822962) | more than 7 years ago | (#20666485)

Is a homonym of it just used to describe cattle and giraffes now? It certainly rolls off the tongue a bit more easily than "x-raser".

Three PS molecule laser (1)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 7 years ago | (#20666609)

if they have a Ps2 molecule laser, and add one more Ps, I wonder if that would that make the ray blue...

Bizzaro Molecule (1)

KiwiCanuck (1075767) | more than 7 years ago | (#20666901)

Sounds like something out of Superman.

There's a joke in here somewhere... (1)

JoeD (12073) | more than 7 years ago | (#20667005)

...about a new GR-DVD format, but I'm too lazy to flesh it out. Go ahead and pretend that I did, and mod this up.

Obligatory Ghostbusters Quote (1)

Jon Eiche (1053158) | more than 7 years ago | (#20667377)

Don't cross the streams!

Things like this.. (1)

synonymous (707504) | more than 7 years ago | (#20667385)

Are mostly already in use. If you read the book "The Day After Roswell", it will clear up most of the suspicious side of your mind. In the book, Col. Corso talks about having copies of the Tesla papers and the proposals for weapons like the "Death Ray". Don't believe me huh?? Well, you know that the Roswell incident happened on the 4th of Jul right? The National Security Act of 1947 became law on July 26, 1947 22 days after Roswell. It created the Department of the Air Force, CIA, Department of Defense, etc... The transistor was supposedly "Invented" in 1947 by Bell Labs shortly after roswell, LOL. Boy what an exciting year. Anyway, these secret groups have been doing much while you have been focused on working for the men. Read the book and watch the movie "Secret Space" on Google video, while you are at it, watch "Disclosure Project" on Google. Heck, just Google "David Icke" and get all caught up to date. Here's a clip of an attempt to hit one with a particle beam or some sorta weapon.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxaegClR05I [youtube.com]
You know, NASA, aside from being a NAZI organization, can't even televise the missions anymore because of all the UFO showing up on camera. Well, it was actually that folks were then having those images show up on the front page of the papers that finally had them encrypt it. Thanks to a Canadian friend, we have those transmissions.
Heres another choice film
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=9141847328034766279&q=mir+ufo&total=55&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=8 [google.com]
Take Care
Read the damn book "The Day After Roswell"
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?