9 June 2011 On the design of experiments for the study of extreme field limits in the ultra-relativistic interaction of electromagnetic waves with plasmas
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Abstract
The critical electric field of quantum electrodynamics, called also the Schwinger field, is so strong that it produces electron-positron pairs from vacuum, converting the energy of light into matter. Since the dawn of quantum electrodynamics, there has been a dream on how to reach it on Earth. With the rise of laser technology this field has become feasible through the construction of extremely high power lasers or/and with the sophisticated use of nonlinear processes in relativistic plasmas. This is one of the most attractive motivations for extremely high power laser development, i.e. producing matter from vacuum by pure light in fundamental process of quantum electrodynamics in the nonperturbative regime. Recently it has been realized that a laser with intensity well below the Schwinger limit can create an avalanche of electron-positron pairs similar to a discharge before attaining the Schwinger field. It has also been realized that the Schwinger limit can be reached using an appropriate configuration of laser beams. In experiments on the collision of laser light and high intensity electromagnetic pulses generated by relativistic flying mirrors, with electron bunches produced by a conventional accelerator and with laser wake field accelerated electrons the studying of extreme field limits in the nonlinear interaction of electromagnetic waves is proposed. The regimes of dominant radiation reaction, which completely changes the electromagnetic wave-matter interaction, will be revealed. This will result in a new powerful source of high brightness gamma-rays. A possibility of the demonstration of the electronpositron pair creation in vacuum via multi-photon processes can be realized. This will allow modeling under terrestrial laboratory conditions neutron star magnetospheres, cosmological gamma ray bursts and the Leptonic Era of the Universe.
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Sergei V. Bulanov, Timur Zh. Esirkepov, Yukio Hayashi, Masaki Kando, Hiromitsu Kiriyama, James K. Koga, Kiminori Kondo, Hideyuki Kotaki, Alexander S. Pirozhkov, Stepan S. Bulanov, Alexei G. Zhidkov, Pisin Chen, David Neely, Yoshiaki Kato, Nikolay B. Narozhny, Georg Korn, "On the design of experiments for the study of extreme field limits in the ultra-relativistic interaction of electromagnetic waves with plasmas", Proc. SPIE 8080, Diode-Pumped High Energy and High Power Lasers; ELI: Ultrarelativistic Laser-Matter Interactions and Petawatt Photonics; and HiPER: the European Pathway to Laser Energy, 80801O (9 June 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.888678; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.888678
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