Multi-stage scheme for non-linear Breit-Wheeler pair-production utilising ultra-intense laser-solid interactions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Multi-petawatt (PW) lasers enable intensities exceeding 10^23 Wcm^-2, at which point quantum electrodynamics (QED) processes, such as electron-positron pair-production via the non-linear Breit-Wheeler process, will play a significant role in laser-plasma interactions. Using 2D QED-particle-in-cell simulations, we present a two-stage scheme in which non-linear pair-production is induced via an ultra-intense laser-solid interaction. The first stage is the generation of a gamma-ray beam, through the interaction of an ultra-intense laser pulse with a thick target, whose features are found to be strongly dependent on collective plasma effects. This compact, high energy gamma-ray beam (characterised by a divergence angle of approximately 10 degrees and average photon energy approximately 10 MeV) then interacts with two counter-propagating laser pulses. By varying the laser polarisation and angle of incidence, we show that in the case of two circularly polarised laser pulses propagating at an angle equal to the divergence angle of the gamma-ray beam, the produced positron distribution is highly anisotropic compared to the case of a standard head-on collision.
LanguageEnglish
Article number094001
Number of pages25
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Volume61
Issue number9
Early online date2 Jul 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2019

Fingerprint

Solid state lasers
pair production
Gamma rays
Laser pulses
Electrodynamics
Positrons
gamma ray beams
Lasers
Plasma interactions
lasers
interactions
quantum electrodynamics
divergence
Photons
pulses
Polarization
Plasmas
laser plasma interactions
electron-positron pairs
Electrons

Keywords

  • pair-production
  • non-linear Breit-Wheeler process
  • ultra-intense laser-solid interactions

Cite this

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title = "Multi-stage scheme for non-linear Breit-Wheeler pair-production utilising ultra-intense laser-solid interactions",
abstract = "Multi-petawatt (PW) lasers enable intensities exceeding 10^23 Wcm^-2, at which point quantum electrodynamics (QED) processes, such as electron-positron pair-production via the non-linear Breit-Wheeler process, will play a significant role in laser-plasma interactions. Using 2D QED-particle-in-cell simulations, we present a two-stage scheme in which non-linear pair-production is induced via an ultra-intense laser-solid interaction. The first stage is the generation of a gamma-ray beam, through the interaction of an ultra-intense laser pulse with a thick target, whose features are found to be strongly dependent on collective plasma effects. This compact, high energy gamma-ray beam (characterised by a divergence angle of approximately 10 degrees and average photon energy approximately 10 MeV) then interacts with two counter-propagating laser pulses. By varying the laser polarisation and angle of incidence, we show that in the case of two circularly polarised laser pulses propagating at an angle equal to the divergence angle of the gamma-ray beam, the produced positron distribution is highly anisotropic compared to the case of a standard head-on collision.",
keywords = "pair-production, non-linear Breit-Wheeler process, ultra-intense laser-solid interactions",
author = "Duff, {M J} and R Capdessus and Ridgers, {C P} and P McKenna",
note = "This is an author-created, un-copyedited version of an article accepted for publication in Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion. IOP Publishing Ltd is not responsible for any errors or omissions in this version of the manuscript or any version derived from it.",
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AU - Duff, M J

AU - Capdessus, R

AU - Ridgers, C P

AU - McKenna, P

N1 - This is an author-created, un-copyedited version of an article accepted for publication in Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion. IOP Publishing Ltd is not responsible for any errors or omissions in this version of the manuscript or any version derived from it.

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Y1 - 2019/7/23

N2 - Multi-petawatt (PW) lasers enable intensities exceeding 10^23 Wcm^-2, at which point quantum electrodynamics (QED) processes, such as electron-positron pair-production via the non-linear Breit-Wheeler process, will play a significant role in laser-plasma interactions. Using 2D QED-particle-in-cell simulations, we present a two-stage scheme in which non-linear pair-production is induced via an ultra-intense laser-solid interaction. The first stage is the generation of a gamma-ray beam, through the interaction of an ultra-intense laser pulse with a thick target, whose features are found to be strongly dependent on collective plasma effects. This compact, high energy gamma-ray beam (characterised by a divergence angle of approximately 10 degrees and average photon energy approximately 10 MeV) then interacts with two counter-propagating laser pulses. By varying the laser polarisation and angle of incidence, we show that in the case of two circularly polarised laser pulses propagating at an angle equal to the divergence angle of the gamma-ray beam, the produced positron distribution is highly anisotropic compared to the case of a standard head-on collision.

AB - Multi-petawatt (PW) lasers enable intensities exceeding 10^23 Wcm^-2, at which point quantum electrodynamics (QED) processes, such as electron-positron pair-production via the non-linear Breit-Wheeler process, will play a significant role in laser-plasma interactions. Using 2D QED-particle-in-cell simulations, we present a two-stage scheme in which non-linear pair-production is induced via an ultra-intense laser-solid interaction. The first stage is the generation of a gamma-ray beam, through the interaction of an ultra-intense laser pulse with a thick target, whose features are found to be strongly dependent on collective plasma effects. This compact, high energy gamma-ray beam (characterised by a divergence angle of approximately 10 degrees and average photon energy approximately 10 MeV) then interacts with two counter-propagating laser pulses. By varying the laser polarisation and angle of incidence, we show that in the case of two circularly polarised laser pulses propagating at an angle equal to the divergence angle of the gamma-ray beam, the produced positron distribution is highly anisotropic compared to the case of a standard head-on collision.

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