Quantum-electrodynamical photon splitting in magnetized nonlinear pair plasmas

G. Brodin, M. Marklund, B. Eliasson, P. K. Shukla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


We present for the first time the nonlinear dynamics of quantum electrodynamic (QED) photon splitting in a strongly magnetized electron-positron (pair) plasma. By using a QED corrected Maxwell equation, we derive a set of equations that exhibit nonlinear couplings between electromagnetic (EM) waves due to nonlinear plasma currents and QED polarization and magnetization effects. Numerical analyses of our coupled nonlinear EM wave equations reveal the possibility of a more efficient decay channel, as well as new features of energy exchange among the three EM modes that are nonlinearly interacting in magnetized pair plasmas. Possible applications of our investigation to astrophysical settings, such as magnetars, are pointed out.
Original languageEnglish
Article number125001
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2007


  • photon splitting
  • pair plasma
  • strong magnetic field


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