News of the WeekPhysics

First Light for a Gamma Ray Flashbulb

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Science  05 Feb 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5403, pp. 769-770
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5403.769a

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In the 25 January Physical Review Letters, a team of a dozen researchers from five different countries has moved a step closer toward creating a gamma ray laser. The team showed that x-rays can trigger a form of hafnium-178 extracted from accelerator waste to release energy stored in its nuclei as a blast of gamma photons.