This book presents a comprehensive study of methods for converting nuclear radiation directly without resorting to a heat cycle. The concepts discussed primarily involve direct collection of charged particles released by radioisotopes and by nuclear and thermonuclear reactors.
Such methods have often been regarded as “laboratory curiosities” in the past. Dr. Miley argues, however, that their unique non-thermal characteristic should be exploited, especially since the goals of reduced thermal pollution and versatile power sources are so closely tied to the future of nuclear energy. Areas considered include basic energy conversion, charged-particle transport theory, secondary-electron emission, and leakage currents and associated problems. Applications to both nuclear instrumentation and power sources are discussed. Problems are also included as an aid to the reader for classroom use.