QED Experiments with Colliding Peta-Watt Laser Pulses

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    • I C Edmond Turcu
    • B. Shen
    • D. Neely
    • Gianluca Sarri
    • K. Tanaka
    • Paul McKenna
    • Stuart Mangles

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    A new generation of high power laser facilities will provide laser pulses with extremely high powers of 10 Peta-Watt (PW) and even 100 PW, capable of reaching 1023 W/cm2 in the laser focus. These ultrahigh intensities are nevertheless lower than the Schwinger intensity IS = 2.3x1029 W/cm2 at which the theory of Quantum Electrodynamics (QED) predicts that a large part of the energy of the laser-photons will be transformed to hard gammaray photons and even to mass, via electron-positron pair production. To enable the investigation of this physics at the intensities achievable with the next generation of high power laser facilities, an approach involving the interaction of two colliding PW laser pulses is being adopted. Theoretical simulations predict strong QED effects with colliding laser pulses of ≥10 PW focused to intensities ≥1022 W/cm2 .
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalHigh Power Laser Science and Engineering
    Journal publication date23 Nov 2018
    Publication statusAccepted - 23 Nov 2018

    ID: 161439632