Pair Production by Relativistic Electrons from an Intense Laser Focus

  • J. W. Shearer
  • J. Garrison
  • J. Wong
  • J. E. Swain


A preliminary discussion is given of electron-positron pair production by means of electrons accelerated to relativistic velocities at the focus of a laser beam. First, the pair cross-section was numerically evaluated near its energy threshold. Then, two methods of relativistic electron production by focused laser light were considered: the coherent oscillation of electrons, and the acceleration of a few high velocity electrons by plasma waves excited by laser-driven instabilities. It was found that the first method would produce pairs for neodymium laser light which is close to the limits of achievable intensities (1019–1020 W/cm2). The second method, however, may be capable of producing pairs at lower intensities.


Pair Production Relativistic Electron Plasma Wave Electron Kinetic Energy Laser Beam Intensity 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. W. Shearer
    • 1
  • J. Garrison
    • 1
  • J. Wong
    • 1
  • J. E. Swain
    • 1
  1. 1.Lawrence Livermore LaboratoryUniversity of CaliforniaLivermoreUSA

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