Logo Logo
Switch Language to German

King, B.; Böhl, P. and Ruhl, H. (2016): Vacuum high-harmonic generation in the shock regime and photon-photon scattering dynamics. In: Journal of Physics: Conference Series, Vol. 691, No. 1, UNSP 012022

Full text not available from 'Open Access LMU'.


The presence of charged quantum virtual states permits a nonlinear self-interaction of the electromagnetic field in vacuum. This interaction can be described as real photon-photon scattering. This effect has been calculated for the case of colliding plane waves, when the centre-of-mass energy is much less than the electron rest energy. The quantum effect is included in the classical electromagnetic field equations of motion by a standard effective approach based upon a weak-field expansion of the Heisenberg-Euler Lagrangian. Solving for the resultant electromagnetic field indicates a signal for real photon-photon scattering when the plane waves overlap, which can be significantly larger than the usually-considered asymptotic values that reach detectors. By considering arbitrary numbers of four-and six-photon scattering, the process of vacuum higher harmonic generation has been studied both analytically and numerically. A route to prolific harmonic generation is identified that does not depend on field strengths being necessarily close to the Schwinger limit. The resulting vacuum electromagnetic shock wave has been studied and a nonlinear shock parameter identified.

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item