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The effect of nonlinear quantum electrodynamics on relativistic transparency and laser absorption in ultra-relativistic plasmas

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Article number043051
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>24/04/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>New Journal of Physics
Volume17
Number of pages11
<mark>State</mark>Published
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

With the aid of large-scale three-dimensional quantum electrodynamics (QED)-particle-in-cell simulations, we describe a potential experimental configuration to measure collective effects that couple strong field QED to plasma kinetics and develop a simple analytic model that describes the absorption due to radiation emission. For two counter propagating lasers interacting with a foil at intensities exceeding 10(22) W cm(-2), a near-binary result occurs; when quantum effects are included, a foil that classically would effectively transmit the laser pulse becomes opaque. This is a dramatic change in plasma behavior, directly as a consequence of the coupling of radiation reaction and pair production to plasma dynamics.