Researchers in the U.K. and Germany have succesfully demonstrated the use of lasers to tackle radioactive waste. The researchers used a 360J laser pulse—with a duration of 0.7 picoseconds and an intensity of 5 × 1020 W/cm2—that helped form gamma rays as it ionized a gold target behind which was a sample of nuclear waste. Transmutation occurred when the gamma rays ejected a neutron from an iodine-129 nucleus to leave behind iodine 128, whose half-life is only 25 minutes, compared with 15.7 million years of iodine 129.
An in-depth survey of 700 current and future users of 3D printing holds few surprises, but results emphasize some major trends already in progress. Two standouts are the big growth in end-use parts and metal additive manufacturing (AM) most respondents expect.
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