Probing strong-field QED in beam-plasma collisions Journal Article uri icon



  • AbstractOngoing progress in laser and accelerator technology opens new possibilities in high-field science, notably to investigate the largely unexplored strong-field quantum electrodynamics (SFQED) regime where electron-positron pairs can be created directly from light-matter or even light-vacuum interactions. Laserless strategies such as beam-beam collisions have also been proposed to access the nonperturbative limit of SFQED. Here we report on a concept to probe SFQED by harnessing the interaction between a high-charge, ultrarelativistic electron beam and a solid conducting target. When impinging onto the target surface, the beam self fields are reflected, partly or fully, depending on the beam shape; in the rest frame of the beam electrons, these fields can exceed the Schwinger field, thus triggering SFQED effects such as quantum nonlinear inverse Compton scattering and nonlinear Breit-Wheeler electron-positron pair creation. Through reduced modeling and kinetic numerical simulations, we show that this single-beam setup can achieve interaction conditions similar to those envisioned in beam-beam collisions, but in a simpler and more controllable way owing to the automatic overlap of the beam and driving fields. This scheme thus eases the way to precision studies of SFQED and is also a promising milestone towards laserless studies of nonperturbative SFQED.

publication date

  • June 15, 2023

has restriction

  • gold

Date in CU Experts

  • February 28, 2024 10:11 AM

Full Author List

  • Matheron A; San Miguel Claveria P; Ariniello R; Ekerfelt H; Fiuza F; Gessner S; Gilljohann MF; Hogan MJ; Keitel CH; Knetsch A

author count

  • 24

Other Profiles

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2399-3650

Additional Document Info


  • 6


  • 1


  • 141