Coherent atomic energetics

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Coherent atomic energetics is concept of the non-thermal use of energy of metastable quantum states.



This concept was under consideration with Eduardo Gomez at the Universidad Autonoma de Mexico in 1998, until the University's crash in 1999 (The total corruption of the administration caused the crash, and the recovery took a year, in order to survive, the researchers had to leave to various countries). Then, according to the databases, the research on this topic was not renewed. The only preliminary results of the limits of the single–mode approximation in the Quantum Optics had been published in the past century [1].

In the non–formal communication, the topic was called "quantum motor", that means the direct conversion of the energy of a metastable to the energy (perhaps, kinetic energy) of the quasi–classical movement of the products of its decay.

Scenario of the coherent atomic energetics

In the most pretentious form, the coherent energetics implies the efficient (non–thermal) use of energy of metastable states of some quantum system. Such a system can be excited molecule or atom, or some metastable compound (excimer), or unstable nucleus, fission or fusion.

In certain sense, lasers (in particular, the excimer lasers) could be considered as prototype of the atomic energetics. The only problem, in the Earth, there are no mineral deposits of the excimer molecules, nor deposits of other laser media in already excited states; the lifetime of the metastable states used for the lasing now, is too short. The formation of the excited states of the laser medium requires to get from the electric plug more energy, than the energy released as the coherent radiation.

In addition, the conversion of the light energy to the electric voltage, required for the compatibility with conventional energetics system implies an additional loss of the efficiency; according to the claim about non–thermal way, such a conversion should not be realized in a thermal machine; it should require some kind of "anti–laser". The photo–electoral elements can be considered as a prototype of such "anti–laser". However, the problem of conversion of the already released energy of quasi-classical coherent stets seems to be minor in compare with the extraction of energy from the commercially available energetic resources.

The atomic energetics should refer to the use of the energy of systems that are available in the natural resources. The most pretentious would be coherent synthesis of the helium nucleus from the heavy hydrogen nuclei. Such a synthesis could be an alternative to the conventional "thermo-nuclear" atomic energetics, that remains to be expected to become successful within "few years" during a long period of time, consuming efforts and resources since the middle of century 20.

Perhaps, the atomic nuclei are not good systems to begin with. At the primary stage of the realization of the project, atoms and molecules seem to be more suitable. The chemical lasers could be a prototype of such a conversion. However, until the beginning of century 21, the chemical lasers consume only few very specific kinds of compounds, that are not available as natural resources.

The first stage of the realization of the scenario may include the coherent oxidation of carbon or hydrogen or some Hydrocarbons, preferably – those available from the oil rectification or cracking of the oil products. Roughly, this may be considered as a laser that that use oil as source of energy.

On the one hand, the straightforward laser action on the oil products seems to be impossible. On the other hand, in principle, the coherent manipulation of the states allows the light–induced chemical reactions of various types. The specially–profiled short pulses allow to provide many cascade transitions before the spontaneous realization destroys the pure quantum states at the intermediate stage.

In such a way, the prototypes of the coherent energetics can be realized with atoms and molecules.

Nuclear application as goal

In principle, the nuclear reactions could be realized with pure quantum states of some nucleons and photons. This could be second stage of a project. Yet, there are no tools for the practical implementation.

In principle, the x-ray lasers could be organized in a way similar to the optical lasers. The absence of the mirrors for the x-ray may require the preparation of the aromas of the medium in synchronized (entangled) state. There is optical analogy of psych a state, it is "Superluminant" state at the Dike superluminescence; such a superluminescence may occur without the feedback with external mirrors [2][3][4]; The handling of the phase of the emitted light is still required. The intermediate goal could be generation of a a radiation where significant part of energy is carried by a single–mode.

One by one

In principle, the molecules, atoms or niclei can be treated one by one. There is certain analogy with the use of heat of burning wood. In principle, one could fire the forrest without to cut trees. However, for the use of the wood to power, for example, a steam machine, the cutting of trees and the sawing may lead to the better energetic efficiency. The modern computers could treat millions of atoms and molecules individually. This amount is sufficient to detect the effect with a macroscopic (classical) device; however, the realization of such an "individual" treatment in a cell of 1000x1000 traps could be considered as a prototype of a device for energetics if the energy releases in a single reaction is of order of 10-11</sub>J. (However, the period of manipulation is expected to be small compared with a second, due to the small timescale of the quantum processes.)

The coherent manipulation with complicated metastable particles may imply that they are in the degenerate state, either the Bose–Einstein Condensate, or the degenerate Fermi–gas (dependently on their spin). However, doe a positive efficiency, the energetic cost of preparation of such a state should be smaller than the energy released at the end of the quantum stage of the reaction.

For the manipulation with pure quantum states of the nuclei, the handling with short wavelength photons and slow neutrons should be very useful. In principle, the existing configurations of the atomic traps could be used also for neutrons. However, as the magnetic moment of an neutron is for four orders of magnitude smaller than that of the atoms already trapped, the magnetic fields several orders of magnitude stronger may be required.

For the preparation of the coherent fusion, the state with high kinetic energy of the heavy hydrogen nuclei should be useful. This may require the laser acceleration of the particle. In general, the problem can be correlated in the following way: What is the minimal energy of an electromagnetic wave packet that accelerate a particle of mass $m$ and charge $q$ (or a neutral particle with magnetic moment $\mu$) to velocity $v$? What a shape should such a wavepacket have?


  1. D.Kouznetsov, E.Gomez. Self-modulation of optical pulses in a Kerr medium and limits of the single-mode approximation. Optics and Spectroscopy, 1999, v.87, No.4, pp.594-602.
  2. B.H.Dicke. Coherence in Spontaneous Radiation Processes. Phys.Rev. 93, 99–110 (1954)
  3. N.Skribanowitz, I.P.Herman, J.C.MacGillivray, and M.S.Feld. Observation of Dicke Superradiance in Optically Pumped HF Gas. PRL v.30, N.8, p.309-312 (1973)
  4. M.Gross, C.Fabre, P.Pillet, and S.Haroche Observation of Near-Infrared Dicke Superradiance on Cascading Transitions in Atomic Sodium. PRL V.36, N.17 P.1035-1038 (1976)