A laser/thermonuclear jet engine!

A physics nerd’s dream!

According to Boeing’s recent patent, lasers would vaporize fissile material causing a fusion reaction; the fusion products, helium or hydrogen, would be expelled out the nozzle, generating thrust. Heat from the reaction would be used to generate electricity to power the lasers.

The outline of the engine in the diagram is that of a typical turbofan jet; this engine would require no air intake, so it seems to be more of a rocket engine than anything else.

boeing-nuclear-laser-engine