The Orion's Arm Universe Project Forums
Isotopic separation - new (?) idea - Printable Version

+- The Orion's Arm Universe Project Forums (
+-- Forum: Offtopics and Extras; Other Cool Stuff (
+--- Forum: Real Life But OA Relevant (
+--- Thread: Isotopic separation - new (?) idea (/showthread.php?tid=1729)

Isotopic separation - new (?) idea - iancampbell - 08-25-2015

I'm not sure this is the right subforum for this post - please move if it isn't. The professional physicists on this board might be able to help me:

Isotopic separation is a subject that's getting a lot of attention lately, but I've never seen one difference between isotopes discussed; that difference is in nuclear spin. (And in fermionic/bosonic character, whatever the jargon is for that.)

What do I mean? Well, it's fairly obvious that (as it happens) the fissionable species of interest (U233, U235, Pu239) all have half-integral spin and most of the ones one doesn't want have integral spin because the latter have even numbers of nucleons. Now, I do know that fermionic nuclei tend to behave differently from bosonic ones when exposed to EM fields and radiation; witness C13 and N15 NMR for that.

It occurs to me that this difference in behaviour might be exploitable for isotopic separation, by (for example) putting nuclei of interest into excited states and altering their chemical behaviour thereby. I'm no sort of professional in this field - my chemistry degree has 35 years of rust on it - so can someone please tell me why this won't work? Huh Blush