LUXE

| Laser Und XFEL Experiment

LUXE

Laser Und XFEL Experiment

Laser Und XFEL Experiment

Laser Und XFEL Experiment

Beate

Heinemann

Group Leader Contact

beate.heinemann@desy.de

Welcome to the LUXE  experiment proposed in Hamburg, Germany.

LUXE (Laser Und XFEL Experiment) is a new experiment proposed at DESY and the European XFEL to study Quantum Electrodynamics (QED) in the strong-field regime where QED becomes non-perturbative.

Already in the 1930s Heisenberg and Sauter realized that perturbative approaches loose validity if an electron enters an electric field, strong enough to accelerate an electron to an energy comparable to its rest energy over the distance of the (reduced) electron Compton wavelength. One then enters the strong-field regime of QED and novel phenomena occur. Among these are the production of electron-positron pairs by field-induced tunneling out of the vacuum, signalling the onset of strong non-linearities in the optical properties of the vacuum. The field strength in question is called the Schwinger field and has a value of 1.3×1018 V/m, and corresponds to the work needed to create a particle pair over a Compton wavelength, with pair production being exponentially suppressed at lower field strengths.

The goal of LUXE is to reach the Schwinger field by using a high energy electron beam (from the European XFEL, with E=17 GeV) and a high-power laser, and to study then the interactions of the  high energy electrons or photons with the laser photons. In particular, in photon-laser interactions it is expected that pairs of matter and antimatter will be produced and their rate will increase with laser intensity. Measuring the dependence of the rate on laser intensity is a primary goal of LUXE.