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  • Received: Nov. 21, 2015

    Accepted: Jan. 12, 2016

    Posted: Jul. 4, 2019

    Published Online: Aug. 1, 2018

    The Author Email: B. King (

    DOI: 10.1017/hpl.2016.1

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    B. King, T. Heinzl. Measuring vacuum polarization with high-power lasers[J]. High Power Laser Science and Engineering, 2016, 4(1): 010000e5

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High Power Laser Science and Engineering, Vol. 4, Issue 1, 010000e5 (2016)

Measuring vacuum polarization with high-power lasers

B. King and T. Heinzl

Author Affiliations

  • Centre for Mathematical Sciences, Plymouth University, Plymouth PL4 8AA, United Kingdom


When exposed to intense electromagnetic fields, the quantum vacuum is expected to exhibit properties of a polarizable medium akin to a weakly nonlinear dielectric material. Various schemes have been proposed to measure such vacuum polarization effects using a combination of high- power lasers. Motivated by several planned experiments, we provide an overview of experimental signatures that have been suggested to confirm this prediction of quantum electrodynamics of real photon–photon scattering.


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