Cherenkov radiation from the quantum vacuum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A charged particle moving through a medium emits Cherenkov radiation when its velocity exceeds the phase velocity of light in that medium. Under the influence of a strong electromagnetic field, quantum fluctuations can become polarized, imbuing the vacuum with an effective anisotropic refractive index and allowing the possibility of Cherenkov radiation from the quantum vacuum. We analyze the properties of this vacuum Cherenkov radiation in strong laser pulses and the magnetic field around a pulsar, finding regimes in which it is the dominant radiation mechanism. This radiation process may be relevant to the excess signals of high energy photons in astrophysical observations.
LanguageEnglish
Article number161601
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume122
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2019

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vacuum
radiation
phase velocity
pulsars
astrophysics
charged particles
electromagnetic fields
refractivity
photons
pulses
magnetic fields
lasers
energy

Keywords

  • nonlinear vacuum electrodynamics
  • Cherenkov radiation

Cite this

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abstract = "A charged particle moving through a medium emits Cherenkov radiation when its velocity exceeds the phase velocity of light in that medium. Under the influence of a strong electromagnetic field, quantum fluctuations can become polarized, imbuing the vacuum with an effective anisotropic refractive index and allowing the possibility of Cherenkov radiation from the quantum vacuum. We analyze the properties of this vacuum Cherenkov radiation in strong laser pulses and the magnetic field around a pulsar, finding regimes in which it is the dominant radiation mechanism. This radiation process may be relevant to the excess signals of high energy photons in astrophysical observations.",
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author = "Alexander MacLeod and Adam Noble and Dino Jaroszynski",
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Cherenkov radiation from the quantum vacuum. / MacLeod, Alexander; Noble, Adam; Jaroszynski, Dino.

In: Physical Review Letters, Vol. 122, No. 16, 161601, 24.04.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

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AU - MacLeod, Alexander

AU - Noble, Adam

AU - Jaroszynski, Dino

PY - 2019/4/24

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N2 - A charged particle moving through a medium emits Cherenkov radiation when its velocity exceeds the phase velocity of light in that medium. Under the influence of a strong electromagnetic field, quantum fluctuations can become polarized, imbuing the vacuum with an effective anisotropic refractive index and allowing the possibility of Cherenkov radiation from the quantum vacuum. We analyze the properties of this vacuum Cherenkov radiation in strong laser pulses and the magnetic field around a pulsar, finding regimes in which it is the dominant radiation mechanism. This radiation process may be relevant to the excess signals of high energy photons in astrophysical observations.

AB - A charged particle moving through a medium emits Cherenkov radiation when its velocity exceeds the phase velocity of light in that medium. Under the influence of a strong electromagnetic field, quantum fluctuations can become polarized, imbuing the vacuum with an effective anisotropic refractive index and allowing the possibility of Cherenkov radiation from the quantum vacuum. We analyze the properties of this vacuum Cherenkov radiation in strong laser pulses and the magnetic field around a pulsar, finding regimes in which it is the dominant radiation mechanism. This radiation process may be relevant to the excess signals of high energy photons in astrophysical observations.

KW - nonlinear vacuum electrodynamics

KW - Cherenkov radiation

U2 - 10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.161601

DO - 10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.161601

M3 - Article

VL - 122

JO - Physical Review Letters

T2 - Physical Review Letters

JF - Physical Review Letters

SN - 0031-9007

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