Nonlinear effects associated with interactions of intense photons with a photon gas

Padma K. Shukla, Mattias Marklund, Davy D. Tskhakaya, Bengt Eliasson

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The derivative correction to the Heisenberg–Euler Lagrangian has been introduced. A general dispersion relation for a photon traveling on a slowly varying background electromagnetic field has been presented. A set of equations describing the nonlinear propagation of an electromagnetic pulse on a radiation fluid background is then derived. Novel modulational and filamentational instabilities are found, and using numerical methods, it has been shown that electromagnetic pulses may collapse and split into pulse trains. Also presented are analytical results concerning the collapse, split, and Mach cone formation. The implications of the results are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3767-3777
Number of pages11
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2004


  • photon gas
  • quantum electrodynamics
  • modulational instability

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