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Radiation-Reaction Effects in the Quantum Regime


Neitz,  Norman
Division Prof. Dr. Christoph H. Keitel, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society,;

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Neitz, N. (2014). Radiation-Reaction Effects in the Quantum Regime. PhD Thesis, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, Heidelberg.

In this work the influence of radiation reaction on the interaction of an electron bunch with a strong laser field is studied including nonlinear and quantum effects. This venture is motivated by two technological developments: On the one hand, the tremendous increase in available laser intensities and, on the other hand, the significant advancements in electron acceleration technology. Considering a regime where radiation reaction effects are caused by the incoherent emission of several photons, a kinetic approach is developed to describe the dynamics of electrons and photons via distribution functions. Whereas classical electrodynamics, employing the Landau-Lifshitz equation, predicts a narrowing of the energy distribution of the electron beam, the analysis in this work reveals the opposite effect in case that quantum effects become significant. The spreading of the electrons' energy distributionis shown to be caused by the intrinsic stochastic nature of photon emission. In order to explain quantitatively the discrepancy between classical and quantum radiation reaction, the final electron distribution as computed in our quantum treatment is demonstrated to depend on the laser's envelope shape and its duration at a given total laser fluence. On the contrary, the classical analysis does not exhibit such a dependency. Finally, the kinetic approach is extended to allow for the inclusion ofpair creation by photons emitted during the scattering. This facilitates a conclusive investigation of the nonlinear coupled dynamics of all particles involved in the interaction, i.e., electrons in the initial bunch, photons and electron-positron pairs produced during the scattering.