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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Laser enhancement of nuclear beta decay Hebron, John Stephen


After deriving and discussing the solution to Dirac's equation for an electron in an external electromagnetic plane wave, the electron field operator is expanded in terms of this solution. The usual electron field operator in the four point theory of nuclear beta decay is replaced by this new field operator, and a formula is obtained for the new beta decay rate. This formula is found to agree with the formula stated by Becker et al. Arguments are presented which indicate that the decay rate will not be significantly enhanced. These arguments are supported by a quantum mechanical model consisting of a square well with barriers through which an electron in a quasi-stationary state tunnels, the rate of tunnelling being enhanced by an external linear electric field.

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