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  • PhysRevA.96.043407

    Rights statement: © 2017 American Physical Society

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Spin polarization of electrons by ultraintense lasers

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

Article number043407
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>11/10/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Physical review a
Issue number4
Number of pages5
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Electrons in plasmas produced by next-generation ultraintense lasers (I > 5 x 10(22)W/cm(2)) can be spin polarized to a high degree (10%-70%) by the laser pulses on a femtosecond time scale. This is due to electrons undergoing spin-flip transitions as they radiate gamma-ray photons, preferentially spin polarizing in one direction. Spin polarization can modify the radiation reaction force on the electrons, which differs by up to 30% for opposite spin polarizations. Consequently, the polarization of the radiated gamma-ray photons is also modified: the relative power radiated in the sigma and pi components increases and decreases by up to 30%, respectively, potentially reducing the rate of pair production in the plasma by up to 30%.

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© 2017 American Physical Society