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Pair production in strong fields: The Trident process

The Trident process is capable of producing an electron-positron pair directly without an intermediate real photon.


The process of electron-positron pair production in strong fields deviates from the well-known perturbative result in weak field backgrounds. In a strong field background an electron can directly emit a photon which in turn can generate a pair. The investigation of the strong field Trident process shows that the emission of a real photon dominates the electron-field interaction at low background field strength while pair production via a virtual photon can no longer be neglected at high background fields. The second order Trident process could play a dominant role in situations of ultra-strong fields and small field volumes.

Responsible for content: Hartmut Ruhl