Experimental signatures of the quantum nature of radiation reaction in the field of an ultraintense laser

Gianluca Sarri, Matthew Zepf, K. Poder, Matteo Tamburini, A. Di Piazza, Stephan Kuschel, C. D. Baird, K. Behm, S. Bohlen, J. Cole, Darragh Corvan, M. Duff, E. Gerstmayr, C. H. Keitel, K. Krushelnick, Stuart Mangles , Chris D. Murphy, P. McKenna, Z. Najmudin, C. P. RidgersGuillermo Marrero Samarin, D.R. Symes, Alec Thomas , Jonathan Warwick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Citations (Scopus)
408 Downloads (Pure)


The description of the dynamics of an electron in an external electromagnetic field of arbitrary intensity is one of the most fundamental outstanding problems in electrodynamics. Remarkably, to date there is no unanimously accepted theoretical solution for ultra-high intensities and little or no experimental data. The basic challenge is the inclusion of the self-interaction of the electron with the field emitted by the electron itself -- the so-called radiation reaction force. We report here on the experimental evidence of strong radiation reaction, in an all-optical experiment, during the propagation of highly relativistic electrons (maximum energy exceeding 2 GeV) through the field of an ultra-intense laser (peak intensity of
4×10 20W/cm2
In their own rest frame, the highest energy electrons experience an electric field as high as one quarter of the critical field of quantum electrodynamics and are seen to lose up to 30\laser field. The experimental data show signatures of quantum effects in the electron dynamics in the external laser field, potentially showing departures from the constant cross field approximation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
JournalPhysical review x
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 05 Jul 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'Experimental signatures of the quantum nature of radiation reaction in the field of an ultraintense laser'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this