J. K. Koga, M. Murakami, A. Arefiev, and Y. Nakamiya, "Probing and possible application of the QED vacuum with micro-bubble implosions induced by ultra-intense laser pulses", Matter Radiat. Extremes 4, 034401 (2019).
The interaction of micro-bubbles with ultra-intense laser pulses has been shown to generate ultra-high proton densities and correspondingly high electric fields. We investigate the possibility of using such a combination to study the fundamental physical phenomenon of vacuum polarization. With current or near-future laser systems, measurement of vacuum polarization via the bending of gamma rays that pass near imploded micro-bubbles may be possible. Since it is independent of photon energy to within the leading-order solution of the Heisenberg–Euler Lagrangian and the geometric optics approximation, the corresponding index of refraction can dominate the indices of refraction due to other effects at sufficiently high photon energies. We consider the possibility of its application to a transient gamma-ray lens.