The first successful use of a laser to separate isotopes has been carried out at the Aerospace Corp. laboratories in El Segundo, Calif. S. W. Mayer, Munson A. Kwok, R. W. F. Gross and Donald J. Spencer used a high‐power hydrogen‐fluoride laser to separate methanol (H3COH) from deuteromethanol (D3COD), selectively exciting the methanol to react with bromine. The method, although not now economically practical (it uses more power per milligram of deuterium produced than do existing methods), gives encouraging results: The mixture of products includes less than five percent methanol and about 95% deuteromethanol, whereas the original mixture contained equal amounts of the two compounds.

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