Regular Article – Atomic Physics
Strong-field QED experiments using the BELLA PW laser dual beamlines
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, USA
2 Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY, Hamburg, Germany
Accepted: 16 October 2022
Published online: 3 November 2022
The petawatt (PW) laser facility of the Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator (BELLA) Center has recently commissioned its second laser pulse transport line. This new beamline can be operated in parallel with the first beamline and enables strong-field quantum electrodynamics (SF-QED) experiments at BELLA. In this paper, we present an overview of the upgraded BELLA PW facility with a SF-QED experimental layout in which intense laser pulses collide with GeV-class laser-wakefield-accelerated electron beams. We present simulation results showing that experiments will allow the study of laser-particle interactions from the classical to the SF-QED regime with a nonlinear quantum parameter of up to 2. In addition, we show that experiments will enable the study and production of GeV-class, mrad-divergence positron beams via the Breit–Wheeler process.
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