Observing thermal Schwinger pair production

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Gould , O , Mangles , S , Rajantie , A , Rose , S & Xie , C 2019 , ' Observing thermal Schwinger pair production ' , Physical Review A , vol. 99 , no. 5 , 052120 . https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevA.99.052120

Title: Observing thermal Schwinger pair production
Author: Gould, Oliver; Mangles, Stuart; Rajantie, Arttu; Rose, Steven; Xie, Cheng
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Helsinki Institute of Physics
Date: 2019-05-22
Language: eng
Number of pages: 8
Belongs to series: Physical Review A
ISSN: 2469-9926
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/303107
Abstract: We study the possibility of observing Schwinger pair production enhanced by a thermal bath of photons. We consider the full range of temperatures and electric field intensities from pure Schwinger production to pure thermal production, and identify the most promising and interesting regimes. In particular, we identify temperatures of similar to 20 keV/k(B) and field intensities of similar to 10(23) W cm(-2) where pair production would be observable. In this case, the thermal enhancement over the Schwinger rate is exponentially large and due to effects which are not visible at any finite order in the loop expansion. Pair production in this regime can thus be described as more nonperturbative than the usual Schwinger process, which appears at one loop. Unfortunately, such high temperatures appear to be out of reach of foreseeable technologies, though nonthermal photon distributions with comparable energy densities are possible. We suggest the possibility that similar nonperturbative enhancements may extend out of equilibrium and propose an experimental scheme to test this.
Subject: VACUUM
FIELD
PHYSICS
LASERS
114 Physical sciences
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