17 May 2017 Particle dynamics and pair production in tightly focused standing wave
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Abstract
With the advent of 10 PW laser facilities, new regimes of laser-matter interaction are opening since effects of quantum electrodynamics, such as electron-positron pair production and cascade development, start to be important. The dynamics of light charged particles, such as electrons and positrons, is affected by the radiation reaction force. This effect can strongly influence the interaction of intense laser pulses with matter since it lowers the energy of emitting particles and transforms their energy to the gamma radiation. Consequently, electron-positron pairs can be generated via Breit-Wheeler process. To study this new regime of interaction, numerical simulations are required. With their help it is possible to predict and study quantum effects which may occur in future experiments at modern laser facilities.

In this work we present results of electron interaction with an intense standing wave formed by two colliding laser pulses. Due to the necessity to achieve ultra intense laser field, the laser beam has to be focused to a ~μm-diameter spot. Since the paraxial approximation is not valid for tight focusing, the appropriate model describing the tightly focused laser beam has to be employed. In tightly focused laser beam the longitudinal component of the electromagnetic field becomes significant and together with the ponderomotive force they affect the dynamics of interacting electrons and also newly generated Breit-Wheeler electron-positron pairs. Using the Particle-In-Cell code we study electron dynamics, gamma radiation and pair production in such a configuration for linear polarization and different types of targets.
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M. Jirka, O. Klimo, M. Vranić, S. Weber, G. Korn, "Particle dynamics and pair production in tightly focused standing wave", Proc. SPIE 10241, Research Using Extreme Light: Entering New Frontiers with Petawatt-Class Lasers III, 1024112 (17 May 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2271963; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2271963
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