Regular Article - Theoretical Physics
Higher fidelity simulations of nonlinear Breit–Wheeler pair creation in intense laser pulses
Department of Physics, University of Gothenburg, 41296, Gothenburg, Sweden
2 Centre for Mathematical Sciences, University of Plymouth, PL4 8AA, Plymouth, UK
Accepted: 17 December 2021
Published online: 17 January 2022
When a photon collides with a laser pulse, an electron-positron pair can be produced via the nonlinear Breit–Wheeler process. A simulation framework has been developed to calculate this process, which is based on a ponderomotive approach that includes strong-field quantum electrodynamical effects via the locally monochromatic approximation (LMA). Here we compare simulation predictions for a variety of observables, in different physical regimes, with numerical evaluation of exact analytical results from theory. For the case of a focussed laser background, we also compare simulation with a high-energy theory approximation. These comparisons are used to quantify the accuracy of the simulation approach in calculating harmonic structure, which appears in the lightfront momentum and angular spectra of outgoing particles, and the transition from multi-photon to all-order pair creation. Calculation of the total yield of pairs over a range of intensity parameters is also used to assess the accuracy of the locally constant field approximation (LCFA).
© The Author(s) 2022
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