Rewriting the rules governing high intensity interactions of light with matter

Alex B. Borisov, John C. McCorkindale, Sankar Poopalasingam, James W. Longworth, Peter Simon, S. Szatmári, Charles K. Rhodes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

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 ∼ 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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number046401
JournalReports on Progress in Physics
Volume79
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 22 2016

Fingerprint

electromagnetic coupling
rays
interactions
electromagnetic wave transmission
excimers
dark energy
excimer lasers
radiant flux density
platforms
fine structure
trajectories
vacuum
expansion
propagation
augmentation
probes
predictions
excitation
electrons
x rays

Keywords

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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Borisov, A. B., McCorkindale, J. C., Poopalasingam, S., Longworth, J. W., Simon, P., Szatmári, S., & Rhodes, C. K. (2016). Rewriting the rules governing high intensity interactions of light with matter. 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.

In: Reports on Progress in Physics, Vol. 79, No. 4, 046401, 22.03.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Borisov, AB, McCorkindale, JC, Poopalasingam, S, Longworth, JW, Simon, P, Szatmári, S & Rhodes, CK 2016, 'Rewriting the rules governing high intensity interactions of light with matter', Reports on Progress in Physics, vol. 79, no. 4, 046401. https://doi.org/10.1088/0034-4885/79/4/046401
Borisov, Alex B. ; McCorkindale, John C. ; Poopalasingam, Sankar ; Longworth, James W. ; Simon, Peter ; Szatmári, S. ; Rhodes, Charles K. / Rewriting the rules governing high intensity interactions of light with matter. In: Reports on Progress in Physics. 2016 ; Vol. 79, No. 4.
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