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Title: Benchmarking semiclassical approaches to strong-field QED: Nonlinear Compton scattering in intense laser pulses

Abstract

The recoil associated with photon emission is key to the dynamics of ultrarelativistic electrons in strong electromagnetic fields, as found in high-intensity laser-matter interactions and astrophysical environments such as neutron star magnetospheres. When the energy of the photon becomes comparable to that of the electron, it is necessary to use quantum electrodynamics (QED) to describe the dynamics accurately. However, computing the appropriate scattering matrix element from strong-field QED is not generally possible due to multiparticle effects and the complex structure of the electromagnetic fields. Therefore, these interactions are treated semiclassically, coupling probabilistic emission events to classical electrodynamics using rates calculated in the locally constant field approximation. Here, we provide comprehensive benchmarking of this approach against the exact QED calculation for nonlinear Compton scattering of electrons in an intense laser pulse. We find agreement at the percentage level between the photon spectra, as well as between the models' predictions of absorption from the background field, for normalized amplitudes a 0 > 5. We discuss possible routes towards improved numerical methods and the implications of our results for the study of QED cascades.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [3];  [1]
  1. Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg (Sweden). Department of Physics
  2. Lancaster University (United Kingdom). Physics Department; Daresbury Laboratory, Warrington (United Kingdom). The Cockcroft Institute
  3. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
OSTI Identifier:
1479434
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1463384
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 25; Journal Issue: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; 70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY

Citation Formats

Blackburn, T. G., Seipt, D., Bulanov, S. S., and Marklund, M. Benchmarking semiclassical approaches to strong-field QED: Nonlinear Compton scattering in intense laser pulses. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1063/1.5037967.
Blackburn, T. G., Seipt, D., Bulanov, S. S., & Marklund, M. Benchmarking semiclassical approaches to strong-field QED: Nonlinear Compton scattering in intense laser pulses. United States. doi:10.1063/1.5037967.
Blackburn, T. G., Seipt, D., Bulanov, S. S., and Marklund, M. Wed . "Benchmarking semiclassical approaches to strong-field QED: Nonlinear Compton scattering in intense laser pulses". United States. doi:10.1063/1.5037967. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1479434.
@article{osti_1479434,
title = {Benchmarking semiclassical approaches to strong-field QED: Nonlinear Compton scattering in intense laser pulses},
author = {Blackburn, T. G. and Seipt, D. and Bulanov, S. S. and Marklund, M.},
abstractNote = {The recoil associated with photon emission is key to the dynamics of ultrarelativistic electrons in strong electromagnetic fields, as found in high-intensity laser-matter interactions and astrophysical environments such as neutron star magnetospheres. When the energy of the photon becomes comparable to that of the electron, it is necessary to use quantum electrodynamics (QED) to describe the dynamics accurately. However, computing the appropriate scattering matrix element from strong-field QED is not generally possible due to multiparticle effects and the complex structure of the electromagnetic fields. Therefore, these interactions are treated semiclassically, coupling probabilistic emission events to classical electrodynamics using rates calculated in the locally constant field approximation. Here, we provide comprehensive benchmarking of this approach against the exact QED calculation for nonlinear Compton scattering of electrons in an intense laser pulse. We find agreement at the percentage level between the photon spectra, as well as between the models' predictions of absorption from the background field, for normalized amplitudes a0 > 5. We discuss possible routes towards improved numerical methods and the implications of our results for the study of QED cascades.},
doi = {10.1063/1.5037967},
journal = {Physics of Plasmas},
issn = {1070-664X},
number = 8,
volume = 25,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {8}
}

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Works referenced in this record:

Generation and characterization of the highest laser intensities (1022 W/cm2)
journal, January 2004

  • Bahk, S.-W.; Rousseau, P.; Planchon, T. A.
  • Optics Letters, Vol. 29, Issue 24, p. 2837-2839
  • DOI: 10.1364/OL.29.002837