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# Nuclear-pumped x-ray lasers are seen as a possible weapon

## Problem 33 Chapter 36

Fundamentals of Physics | 10th Edition

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Fundamentals of Physics | 10th Edition

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Problem 33

Nuclear-pumped x-ray lasers are seen as a possible weapon to destroy ICBM booster rockets at ranges up to 2000 km. One limitation on such a device is the spreading of the beam due to diffraction, with resulting dilution of beam intensity. Consider such a laser operating at a wavelength of 1.40 nm. The element that emits light is the end of a wire with diameter 0.200 mm. (a) Calculate the diameter of the central beam at a target 2000 km away from the beam source. (b) What is the ratio of the beam intensity at the target to that at the end of the wire? (The laser is fired from space, so neglect any atmospheric absorption.)

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