We present a proposal for testing the prediction of non-equilibrium quantum field theory below the Schwinger limit. The proposed experiments should be able to detect a measurable number of gamma rays resulting from the annihilation of pairs in the focal spot of two opposing high-intensity laser beams. We discuss the dependence of the expected number of gamma rays with the laser parameters and compare with the estimated background level of gamma hits for realistic laser conditions. (C) 2009 Elsevier By. All rights reserved.
- subcritical vacuum pair production
- high power lasers