Direct Nuclear Pumped Lasers — Status and Potential Applications

  • G. H. Miley


Recent direct nuclear gumped leaser (DNPL) research is reviewed with emphasis on recent experiments at the U. of I11. employing three gas mixtures (Ne-N2, He-Ne-O2, and He-Hg). Lasing has been obtained in the cases of N2 and Hg, and gain has been observed in O2. All three mixtures are discussed with particular attention to He-Hg where visible laser output on the 6150-Å ion transition in Hg+ has been achieved.

Scaled-up versions of present experimental lasers are considered that potentially capitalize on the unique ability to pump large volumes of high-pressure gases using neutron-initiated nuclear reactions in 3He or UF6 mixtures. A multi-MJ laser based on existing fast-burst reactor technology appears feasible in the near term.

More advanced designs offer even larger energies, but require considerable development. Use of a DNPL to provide improved energy recirculation in a laser-fusion system appears attractive provided appropriate energy storage and pulse shaping techniques can be developed. Possible approaches using either a flowing transfer-type DNPL or a deuterium-rich pellet with a neutron propagation blanket.


Neutron Flux Laser Output Laser Cavity Fission Fragment Laser Medium 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. H. Miley
    • 1
  1. 1.University of IllinoisNuclear Engineering ProgramUrbanaUSA

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