Gamma-ray laser moves a step closer to reality

Gamma-ray laser moves a step closer to reality

by Iqbal Pittalwala,

A physicist at the University of California, Riverside, has performed calculations showing hollow spherical bubbles filled with a gas of positronium atoms are stable in liquid helium.

The calculations take scientists a step closer to realizing a gamma-ray laser, which may have applications in medical imaging, spacecraft propulsion, and cancer treatment.

Extremely short-lived and only briefly stable, positronium is a hydrogen-like atom and a mixture of matter and antimatter—specifically, bound states of electrons and their antiparticles called positrons. To create a gamma-ray laser beam, positronium needs to be in a state called a Bose-Einstein condensate—a collection of positronium atoms in the same quantum state, allowing for more interactions and gamma radiation. Such a condensate is the key ingredient of a gamma-ray laser.

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