Single particle detection system for strong-field QED experiments

F C Salgado*, N Cavanagh, M Tamburini, D W Storey, R Beyer, P H Bucksbaum, Z Chen, A Di Piazza, E Gerstmayr, Harsh Harsh, E Isele, A R Junghans, C H Keitel, S Kuschel, C F Nielsen, D A Reis, C Roedel, G Sarri, A Seidel, C SchneiderU I Uggerhøj, J Wulff, V Yakimenko, C Zepter, S Meuren, M Zepf

*Corresponding author for this work

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Measuring signatures of strong-field quantum electrodynamics (SF-QED) processes in an intense laser field is an experimental challenge: it requires detectors to be highly sensitive to single electrons and positrons in the presence of the typically very strong x-ray and γ-photon background levels. In this paper, we describe a particle detector capable of diagnosing single leptons from SF-QED interactions and discuss the background level simulations for the upcoming Experiment-320 at FACET-II (SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory). The single particle detection system described here combines pixelated scintillation LYSO screens and a Cherenkov calorimeter. We detail the performance of the system using simulations and a calibration of the Cherenkov detector at the ELBE accelerator. Single 3 GeV leptons are expected to produce approximately 537 detectable photons in a single calorimeter channel. This signal is compared to Monte-Carlo simulations of the experiment. A signal-to-noise ratio of 18 in a single Cherenkov calorimeter detector is expected and a spectral resolution of 2% is achieved using the pixelated LYSO screens.
Original languageEnglish
Article number015002
Number of pages16
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Issue number1
Early online date31 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Paper
  • Focus on Strong Field Quantum Electrodynamics with High Power Lasers and Particle Beams
  • strong-field QED
  • pair-creation
  • single-particle detection
  • Cherenkov calorimeter
  • Breit–Wheeler process


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