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Schwinger Limit Attainability with Extreme Power Lasers

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Article number220407
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>24/11/2010
<mark>Journal</mark>Physical Review Letters
Issue number22
Volume105
Number of pages4
StatePublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

High intensity colliding laser pulses can create abundant electron-positron pair plasma [A. R. Bell and J. G. Kirk, Phys. Rev. Lett. 101, 200403 (2008)], which can scatter the incoming electromagnetic waves. This process can prevent one from reaching the critical field of quantum electrodynamics at which vacuum breakdown and polarization occur. Considering the pairs are seeded by the Schwinger mechanism, it is shown that the effects of radiation friction and the electron-positron avalanche development in vacuum depend on the electromagnetic wave polarization. For circularly polarized colliding pulses, these effects dominate not only the particle motion but also the evolution of the pulses. For linearly polarized pulses, these effects are not as strong. There is an apparent analogy of these cases with circular and linear electron accelerators to the corresponding constraining and reduced roles of synchrotron radiation losses.