Dynamical Schwinger effect and high-intensity lasers. Realising nonperturbative QED

  • D. B. Blaschke
  • A. V. Prozorkevich
  • G. Röpke
  • C. D. Roberts
  • S. M. Schmidt
  • D. S. Shkirmanov
  • S. A. Smolyansky
Topical issue: Fundamental Physics and Ultra-High Laser Fields

Abstract

We consider the possibility of experimental verification of vacuum e+e- pair creation at the focus of two counter-propagating optical laser beams with intensities 1020–10\(^{22}~{\rm W/cm}^2\), achievable with present-day petawatt lasers, and approaching the Schwinger limit: 10\(^{29}~{\rm W/cm}^2\) to be reached at ELI. Our approach is based on the collisionless kinetic equation for the evolution of the e+ and e- distribution functions governed by a non-Markovian source term for pair production. As possible experimental signals of vacuum pair production we consider e+e- annihilation into γ-pairs and the refraction of a high-frequency probe laser beam by the produced e+e- plasma. We discuss the dependence of the dynamical pair production process on laser wavelength, with special emphasis on applications in the X-ray domain (X-FEL), as well as the prospects for μ+μ- and π+π- pair creation at high-intensity lasers. We investigate perspectives for using high-intensity lasers as “boosters” of ion beams in the few-GeV per nucleon range, which is relevant, e.g., to the exploration of the QCD phase transition in laboratory experiments.

PACS

12.20.-m Quantum electrodynamics 42.50.Hz Strong-field excitation of optical transitions in quantum systems; multiphoton processes; dynamic Stark shift 52.38.-r Laser-plasma interactions 

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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences, SIF, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. B. Blaschke
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • A. V. Prozorkevich
    • 4
  • G. Röpke
    • 3
  • C. D. Roberts
    • 5
  • S. M. Schmidt
    • 6
    • 7
  • D. S. Shkirmanov
    • 4
  • S. A. Smolyansky
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of WrocławWrocławPoland
  2. 2.Bogoliubov Laboratory for Theoretical Physics, Joint Institute for Nuclear ResearchDubnaRussia
  3. 3.Institut für Physik, Universität RostockRostockGermany
  4. 4.Saratov State UniversitySaratovRussia
  5. 5.Physics DivisionArgonne National LaboratoryArgonneUSA
  6. 6.Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbHJülichGermany
  7. 7.Technische Univesität Dortmund, Fakultät Physik & DELTADortmundGermany

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