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ISSN - 10941622, Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics, 2010, vol. 81, p. -

Effect of a strong laser field on electron-positron photoproduction by relativistic nuclei

Di Piazza A., Lötstedt E., Milstein A. I., Keitel C. H.

We study the influence of a strong laser field on the Bethe-Heitler photoproduction process by a relativistic nucleus. The laser field propagates in the same direction as the incoming high-energy photon, and it is taken into account exactly in the calculations. Two cases are considered in detail. In the first case, the energy of the incoming photon in the nucleus rest frame is much larger than the electron's rest energy. The presence of the laser field may significantly suppress the photoproduction rate at soon-available values of laser parameters. In the second case, the energy of the incoming photon in the rest frame of the nucleus is less than and close to the electron-positron pair-production threshold. The presence of the laser field allows for the pair-production process, and the obtained electron-positron rate is much larger than in the presence of only the laser and the nuclear field. In both cases, we have observed a strong dependence of the rate on the mutual polarization of the laser field and on the high-energy photon, and the most favorable configuration is with laser field and high-energy photon linearly polarized in the same direction. The effects discussed are, in principle, measurable with presently available proton accelerators and laser technology. © 2010 The American Physical Society.