The laser in the laboratory. NASA photo
Russian physicist Eugene Tkalya of Research Institute of Nuclear Physics Skobel'tsyn at Lomonosov Moscow State University proposed a nuclear laser operating in the visible range. The article appeared in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters, and its summary results in Physical Review Focus. Preprint of the paper can be found here.
Laser "nuclear light" scientists call a laser, in which photons are emitted during the transition to the excited state directly atomic nuclei rather than electrons. In theory, these lasers can be a source of coherent X-rays (grasers), but many physicists doubt the possibility of creating such devices in practice.
As part of his new job Tkalya demonstrated the theoretical possibility of the laser on the nuclear light, which, however, is still working in the optical range. The working of the body it proposes to use LiCaAlF6 with some inclusions of thorium atoms 229Th. Feature of thorium is that it has a nuclear excited state, the energy is very different from the excited states of the electron shells of the atom.
Calculations show that for a sufficiently strong magnetic (or electric) field of thorium atoms begin to emit photons. This coherent light in the optical range. According to experts. new work is an important step towards the creation grasers.