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Sci-Fi Science

Antimatter Molecule Should Boost Laser Power 211

Posted by Zonk
from the i-hope-that-annihilation-ray-laser-is-for-peaceful-purposes dept.
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 ... '"
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Antimatter Molecule Should Boost Laser Power

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  • Oh yes... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by suv4x4 (956391) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @04:25AM (#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:iran (Score:3, Insightful)

    by polar red (215081) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @04:54AM (#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?)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @06:17AM (#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...
  • Re:iran (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @06:35AM (#20665661)

    You Can't END a war with weapons, only with words
    I think Japan would beg to differ.
  • by el_munkie (145510) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @06:44AM (#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:iran (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MyLongNickName (822545) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @07:01AM (#20665783) Journal
    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 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by polar red (215081) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @07:08AM (#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 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Hubbell (850646) <brianhubbellii@nospAm.live.com> on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @07:29AM (#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.
  • by maillemaker (924053) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @07:47AM (#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.
  • Missing the point (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wonkavader (605434) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @08:50AM (#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 (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @09:49AM (#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.

  • No. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @10:25AM (#20668139) Journal
    It ended with a public radio broadcast of the emperor proclaiming himself to not be a God, and to end the war. If he doesn't do that, the war wouldn't have ended. So basically, what we needed was Saddam to surrender and tell everyone to stop fighting. I guess if Osama said that now, it might work ,but there are so many factions now that it wouldn't immediately end the war.
  • by Doctor Faustus (127273) <Slashdot@@@WilliamCleveland...Org> on Wednesday September 19, 2007 @12:36PM (#20670033) Homepage
    The transistor was supposedly "Invented" in 1947 by Bell Labs shortly after roswell, LOL. Boy what an exciting year.
    In the several years prior, jet engines first became practical, digital computers were first invented, digital computers switched from relays to vacuum tubes (which are frequently derided these days as glass field-effect transistors), some of the first plastics became available, the German Type XXI completely changed how submarines would work going forward, both cruise and ballistic missiles were invented, radars became small enough to put in bullets, and oh yeah, The Bomb. I think penicillin was invented in there, too.

    Technology was moving fast then, in very visible ways.

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." -- Albert Einstein

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