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Journal Article

Nonlinear Breit-Wheeler Pair Production in a Tightly Focused Laser Beam


Di Piazza,  Antonino
Division Prof. Dr. Christoph H. Keitel, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Di Piazza, A. (2016). Nonlinear Breit-Wheeler Pair Production in a Tightly Focused Laser Beam. Physical Review Letters, 117(21): 213201. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.117.213201.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-3FBF-2
The only available analytical framework for investigating QED processes in a strong laser field systematically relies on approximating the latter as a plane wave. However, realistic high-intensity laser beams feature much more complex space-time structures than plane waves. Here, we show the feasibility of an analytical framework for investigating strong-field QED processes in laser beams of arbitrary space-time structure by determining the energy spectrum of positrons produced via nonlinear Breit-Wheeler pair production as a function of the background field in the realistic assumption that the energy of the incoming photon is the largest dynamical energy in the problem. A numerical evaluation of the angular resolved positron spectrum shows significant quantitative differences with respect to the analogous result in a plane wave, such that the present results will be also important for the design of upcoming strong laser facilities aiming at measuring this process.