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Electron-positron annihilation into two photons in an intense plane-wave field

MPS-Authors
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Bragin,  S.
Division Prof. Dr. Christoph H. Keitel, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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

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Fulltext (public)

2003.02231.pdf
(Preprint), 705KB

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Citation

Bragin, S., & Di Piazza, A. (2020). Electron-positron annihilation into two photons in an intense plane-wave field. Physical Review D, 102(11): 116012. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.102.116012.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-9B99-E
Abstract
The process of electron-positron annihilation into two photons in the presence of an intense classical plane wave of an arbitrary shape is investigated analytically by employing light-cone quantization and by taking into account the effects of the plane wave exactly. We introduce a general description of second-order 2-to-2 scattering processes in a plane-wave background field, indicating the necessity of considering the localization of the colliding particles, and that is achieved by means of wave packets. We define a local cross section in the background field, which generalizes the vacuum cross section and which, though not being directly an observable, allows for a comparison between the results in the plane wave and in vacuum without relying on the shape of the incoming wave packets. Two possible cascade or two-step channels have been identified in the annihilation process and an alternative way of representing the two-step and one-step contributions via a "virtuality" integral has been found. Finally, we compute the total local cross section to leading order in the coupling between the electron-positron field and the quantized photon field, excluding the interference between the two leading-order diagrams arising from the exchange of the two final photons, and express it in a relatively compact form, which contains the dependence on the plane-wave field only via the dressed fermion momenta. In contrast to processes in a background field initiated by a single particle, the pair annihilation into two photons, in fact, also occurs in vacuum. Our result naturally embeds the vacuum part and reduces to the vacuum expression, known in the literature, in the case of a vanishing laser field.