|MadSci Network: Physics|
You might have something there and it would definitely be something to keep in mind as you progress in your study of physics. For a first look at some of the technologies that have been considered for conversion of nuclear energy to electricity, you might want to hunt down a copy of M. M. El-Wakil's Nuclear Energy Conversion, 1971, isbn 0-7002-2310-X. The book may still be available through the American Nuclear Society (they have a web page) or through your local librarian. Chapter 15 of that book is titled Direct Energy Conversion of Nuclear Radiations. I found a more current edition of the reference at http://store.ans.org/index.cgi? id=as12361dyge33399&category=Textbooks&item=350008&func=viewitem&block= Circa 1971, the nuclear radiation converter types were - radiation-induced ionization - radiation excitation of semiconductors - direct collection of charged particles But none of these concepts, to the best of my knowledge, has been developed to prototype and certainly not on the scale that would be necessary to solve energy shortages in California. That could all change, of course, with future advances in technology. Thanks for your question. sid
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