Quantum phenomena in high-intensity laser-matter interactions
- Funding: £362,146
- Funding Agency: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
- Investigators: Ilderton A (PI, Plymouth), King B (Co-I, Plymouth)
- Duration: Feb 2019- March 2021
Recent UK experiments, in which beams of ultra-relativistic electrons were
collided with intense laser pulses, have shown that it is possible not only to
use intense lasers to probe fundamental physics, but also to generate radiation
sources with unique properties, which find applications across the sciences.
Such experiments are extremely challenging, and despite recent successes there
is disagreement over to what extent quantum effects have been observed.
Discrepancies between experimental results and theoretical predictions have
been attributed to the numerical models of quantum effects employed in
Particle-In-Cell (PIC) codes used to simulate and analyse experiments.
A host of new experiments will begin this year, and will be able to probe the transition from classical to quantum physics in intense electromagnetic fields. It is therefore critical that we improve our understanding of theoretical models, and their implementations, in order to ensure that theoretical predictions and analyses keep up with experimental progress.
To meet this urgent experimental demand we propose developing existing theory on two fronts.