LIVERMORE, Calif. — A scientist whose formula for building an X-ray laser plays a crucial role in the development of the Strategic Defense Initiative, or "Star Wars," is returning as a consultant to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Last fall, Peter Hagelstein, 32, left the nuclear weapons design center to work on peaceful uses of his research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In an interview published Tuesday in the San Jose Mercury News, Hagelstein said he will focus on unclassified, non-weapons work in the X-ray laser program. His contract at Livermore calls for him to serve as a consultant for up to 45 days this year at $315 a day.
Hagelstein left Livermore four months ago after telling friends he wanted to do research that would "benefit all mankind." At MIT, he is attempting to develop a new laboratory X-ray laser at wave lengths short enough to be used for medical and scientific research.