I have a conceptual idea for a photonic laser thruster for a spacecraft and I am wondering if this particular idea has already been thought of and whether or not it is capable of generating enough thrust to propel a spacecraft.
Please reference the drawing below. This photonic laser thruster would be attached to the stern of the spacecraft, although it could also be attached to the side of the spacecraft.
In a nutshell, protons (or other positively charged particles) flowing in the Sun's solar wind would enter into a round opening in the thruster's hull, these protons would then be decelerated by an electric field within the thruster resulting in an lower energy level, which means they will lose kinetic energy and start emitting photons, thus satisfying the law of conservation of energy. These photons will then hit a mirror and be reflected back and out of the opening in the thruster's hull. In theory, these photons will transfer their momentum to the thruster/spacecraft by reflection and propel the spacecraft forward.
Also, theoretically the protons could be brought to a complete stop by this electric field and then their direction will be reversed by the same electric field and be accelerated to a high velocity until they exit the opening in the thruster's hull.
Could protons in the Sun's solar wind be used to create a photonic laser thruster for a spacecraft?