### Abstract

The trajectory of discovery associated with the study of high-intensity nonlinear radiative interactions with matter and corresponding nonlinear modes of electromagnetic propagation through material that have been conducted over the last 50 years can be presented as a landscape in the intensity/quantum energy [I-ω] plane. Based on an extensive series of experimental and theoretical findings, a universal zone of anomalous enhanced electromagnetic coupling, designated as the fundamental nonlinear domain, can be defined. Since the lower boundaries of this region for all atomic matter correspond to ω ∼ 10^{3} eV and I ≈ 10^{16} W cm^{-2}, it heralds a future dominated by x-ray and γ-ray studies of all phases of matter including nuclear states. The augmented strength of the interaction with materials can be generally expressed as an increase in the basic electromagnetic coupling constant in which the fine structure constant α → Z ^{2} α, where Z denotes the number of electrons participating in an ordered response to the driving field. Since radiative conditions strongly favoring the development of this enhanced electromagnetic coupling are readily produced in self-trapped plasma channels, the processes associated with the generation of nonlinear interactions with materials stand in natural alliance with the nonlinear mechanisms that induce confined propagation. An experimental example involving the Xe (4d^{10}5s^{2}5p^{6}) supershell for which Z ≅ 18 that falls in the specified anomalous nonlinear domain is described. This yields an effective coupling constant of Z ^{2} α ≅ 2.4 > 1, a magnitude comparable to the strong interaction and a value rendering as useless conventional perturbative analyses founded on an expansion in powers of α. This enhancement can be quantitatively understood as a direct consequence of the dominant role played by coherently driven multiply-excited states in the dynamics of the coupling. It is also conclusively demonstrated by an abundance of data that the utterly peerless champion of the experimental campaign leading to the definition of the fundamental nonlinear domain was excimer laser technology. The basis of this unique role was the ability to satisfy simultaneously a triplet (ω, I, P) of conditions stating the minimal values of the frequency ω, intensity I, and the power P necessary to enable the key physical processes to be experimentally observed and controllably combined. The historical confluence of these developments creates a solid foundation for the prediction of future advances in the fundamental understanding of ultra-high power density states of matter. The atomic findings graciously generalize to the composition of a nuclear stanza expressing the accessibility of the nuclear domain. With this basis serving as the launch platform, a cadenza of three grand challenge problems representing both new materials and new interactions is presented for future solution; they are (1) the performance of an experimental probe of the properties of the vacuum state associated with the dark energy at an intensity approaching the Schwinger/Heisenberg limit, (2) the attainment of amplification in the γ-ray region (∼1 MeV) and the discovery of a nuclear excimer, and (3) the determination of a path to the projected super-heavy nuclear island of stability.

Original language | English |
---|---|

Article number | 046401 |

Journal | Reports on Progress in Physics |

Volume | 79 |

Issue number | 4 |

DOIs | |

Publication status | Published - Mar 22 2016 |

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### Keywords

- high photon energy radiation
- light matter interaction
- UV laser technology

### ASJC Scopus subject areas

- Physics and Astronomy(all)

### Cite this

*Reports on Progress in Physics*,

*79*(4), [046401]. https://doi.org/10.1088/0034-4885/79/4/046401

**Rewriting the rules governing high intensity interactions of light with matter.** / Borisov, Alex B.; McCorkindale, John C.; Poopalasingam, Sankar; Longworth, James W.; Simon, Peter; Szatmári, S.; Rhodes, Charles K.

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article

*Reports on Progress in Physics*, vol. 79, no. 4, 046401. https://doi.org/10.1088/0034-4885/79/4/046401

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Rewriting the rules governing high intensity interactions of light with matter

AU - Borisov, Alex B.

AU - McCorkindale, John C.

AU - Poopalasingam, Sankar

AU - Longworth, James W.

AU - Simon, Peter

AU - Szatmári, S.

AU - Rhodes, Charles K.

PY - 2016/3/22

Y1 - 2016/3/22

N2 - The trajectory of discovery associated with the study of high-intensity nonlinear radiative interactions with matter and corresponding nonlinear modes of electromagnetic propagation through material that have been conducted over the last 50 years can be presented as a landscape in the intensity/quantum energy [I-ω] plane. Based on an extensive series of experimental and theoretical findings, a universal zone of anomalous enhanced electromagnetic coupling, designated as the fundamental nonlinear domain, can be defined. Since the lower boundaries of this region for all atomic matter correspond to ω ∼ 103 eV and I ≈ 1016 W cm-2, it heralds a future dominated by x-ray and γ-ray studies of all phases of matter including nuclear states. The augmented strength of the interaction with materials can be generally expressed as an increase in the basic electromagnetic coupling constant in which the fine structure constant α → Z 2 α, where Z denotes the number of electrons participating in an ordered response to the driving field. Since radiative conditions strongly favoring the development of this enhanced electromagnetic coupling are readily produced in self-trapped plasma channels, the processes associated with the generation of nonlinear interactions with materials stand in natural alliance with the nonlinear mechanisms that induce confined propagation. An experimental example involving the Xe (4d105s25p6) supershell for which Z ≅ 18 that falls in the specified anomalous nonlinear domain is described. This yields an effective coupling constant of Z 2 α ≅ 2.4 > 1, a magnitude comparable to the strong interaction and a value rendering as useless conventional perturbative analyses founded on an expansion in powers of α. This enhancement can be quantitatively understood as a direct consequence of the dominant role played by coherently driven multiply-excited states in the dynamics of the coupling. It is also conclusively demonstrated by an abundance of data that the utterly peerless champion of the experimental campaign leading to the definition of the fundamental nonlinear domain was excimer laser technology. The basis of this unique role was the ability to satisfy simultaneously a triplet (ω, I, P) of conditions stating the minimal values of the frequency ω, intensity I, and the power P necessary to enable the key physical processes to be experimentally observed and controllably combined. The historical confluence of these developments creates a solid foundation for the prediction of future advances in the fundamental understanding of ultra-high power density states of matter. The atomic findings graciously generalize to the composition of a nuclear stanza expressing the accessibility of the nuclear domain. With this basis serving as the launch platform, a cadenza of three grand challenge problems representing both new materials and new interactions is presented for future solution; they are (1) the performance of an experimental probe of the properties of the vacuum state associated with the dark energy at an intensity approaching the Schwinger/Heisenberg limit, (2) the attainment of amplification in the γ-ray region (∼1 MeV) and the discovery of a nuclear excimer, and (3) the determination of a path to the projected super-heavy nuclear island of stability.

AB - The trajectory of discovery associated with the study of high-intensity nonlinear radiative interactions with matter and corresponding nonlinear modes of electromagnetic propagation through material that have been conducted over the last 50 years can be presented as a landscape in the intensity/quantum energy [I-ω] plane. Based on an extensive series of experimental and theoretical findings, a universal zone of anomalous enhanced electromagnetic coupling, designated as the fundamental nonlinear domain, can be defined. Since the lower boundaries of this region for all atomic matter correspond to ω ∼ 103 eV and I ≈ 1016 W cm-2, it heralds a future dominated by x-ray and γ-ray studies of all phases of matter including nuclear states. The augmented strength of the interaction with materials can be generally expressed as an increase in the basic electromagnetic coupling constant in which the fine structure constant α → Z 2 α, where Z denotes the number of electrons participating in an ordered response to the driving field. Since radiative conditions strongly favoring the development of this enhanced electromagnetic coupling are readily produced in self-trapped plasma channels, the processes associated with the generation of nonlinear interactions with materials stand in natural alliance with the nonlinear mechanisms that induce confined propagation. An experimental example involving the Xe (4d105s25p6) supershell for which Z ≅ 18 that falls in the specified anomalous nonlinear domain is described. This yields an effective coupling constant of Z 2 α ≅ 2.4 > 1, a magnitude comparable to the strong interaction and a value rendering as useless conventional perturbative analyses founded on an expansion in powers of α. This enhancement can be quantitatively understood as a direct consequence of the dominant role played by coherently driven multiply-excited states in the dynamics of the coupling. It is also conclusively demonstrated by an abundance of data that the utterly peerless champion of the experimental campaign leading to the definition of the fundamental nonlinear domain was excimer laser technology. The basis of this unique role was the ability to satisfy simultaneously a triplet (ω, I, P) of conditions stating the minimal values of the frequency ω, intensity I, and the power P necessary to enable the key physical processes to be experimentally observed and controllably combined. The historical confluence of these developments creates a solid foundation for the prediction of future advances in the fundamental understanding of ultra-high power density states of matter. The atomic findings graciously generalize to the composition of a nuclear stanza expressing the accessibility of the nuclear domain. With this basis serving as the launch platform, a cadenza of three grand challenge problems representing both new materials and new interactions is presented for future solution; they are (1) the performance of an experimental probe of the properties of the vacuum state associated with the dark energy at an intensity approaching the Schwinger/Heisenberg limit, (2) the attainment of amplification in the γ-ray region (∼1 MeV) and the discovery of a nuclear excimer, and (3) the determination of a path to the projected super-heavy nuclear island of stability.

KW - high photon energy radiation

KW - light matter interaction

KW - UV laser technology

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U2 - 10.1088/0034-4885/79/4/046401

DO - 10.1088/0034-4885/79/4/046401

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84963654016

VL - 79

JO - Reports on Progress in Physics

JF - Reports on Progress in Physics

SN - 0034-4885

IS - 4

M1 - 046401

ER -