QED cascade saturation in extreme high fields

Wen Luo, Wei-Yuan Liu, Tao Yuan, Min Chen, Ji-Ye Yu, Fei-Yu Li, D. Del Sorbo, C. P. Ridgers, Zheng-Ming Sheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


Upcoming ultrahigh power lasers at 10 PW level will make it possible to experimentally explore electron-positron (e−e+) pair cascades and subsequent relativistic e−e+ jets formation, which are supposed to occur in extreme astrophysical environments, such as black holes, pulsars, quasars and gamma-ray bursts. In the latter case it is a long-standing question as to how the relativistic jets are formed and what their temperatures and compositions are. Here we report simulation results of pair cascades in two counter-propagating QED-strong laser fields. A scaling of QED cascade growth with laser intensity is found, showing clear cascade saturation above threshold intensity of ~1024 W/cm2. QED cascade saturation leads to pair plasma cooling and longitudinal compression along the laser axis, resulting in the subsequent formation of relativistic dense e−e+ jets along transverse directions. Such laser-driven QED cascade saturation may open up the opportunity to study energetic astrophysical phenomena in laboratory.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8400
Number of pages8
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2018


  • pair cascades
  • simulation
  • QED-strong laser fields
  • saturation
  • QED cascade saturation

Cite this