Spin and polarization effects on the nonlinear Breit-Wheeler pair production in laser-plasma interaction

Huai Hang Song, Wei Min Wang, Yan Fei Li, Bing Jun Li, Yu Tong Li, Zheng Ming Sheng, Li Ming Chen, Jie Zhang

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The spin effect of electrons/positrons (e -/e +) and polarization effect of γ photons are investigated in the interaction of two counter-propagating linearly polarized laser pulses of peak intensity 8.9 1023 W cm-2 with a thin foil target. The processes of nonlinear Compton scattering and nonlinear Breit-Wheeler pair production based on the spin- and polarization-resolved probabilities are implemented into the particle-in-cell (PIC) algorithm by Monte Carlo methods. It is found from PIC simulations that the average degree of linear polarization of emitted γ photons can exceed 50%. This polarization effect leads to a reduced positron yield by about 10%. At some medium positron energies, the reduction can reach 20%. Furthermore, we also observe that the local spin polarization of e -/e + leads to a slight decrease of the positron yield about 2% and some anomalous phenomena about the positron spectrum and photon polarization at the high-energy range, due to spin-dependent photon emissions. Our results indicate that spin and polarization effects should be considered in calculating the pair production and laser-plasma interaction with the laser power of 10 PW to 100 PW classes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number075005
Number of pages12
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2021


  • laser-plasma interaction
  • pair production
  • particle-in-cell simulation
  • spin and polarization effects
  • strong-field QED

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