Y. He, I-L. Yeh, T. Blackburn, and A. Arefiev, "A single-laser scheme for observation of linear Breit-Wheeler electron-positron pair creation", New J. Phys. 23, 115005 (2021).
We show that a single laser pulse, traveling through a dense plasma, produces a population of MeV photons of sufficient density to generate a large number of electron-positron pairs via the linear Breit-Wheeler process. While it may be expected that the photons are emitted predominantly in the forward direction, parallel to the laser propagation, we find that a longitudinal plasma electric field drives the emission of photons in the backwards direction. This enables the collision of oppositely directed, MeV-level photons necessary to overcome the mass threshold for the linear Breit-Wheeler process. Our calculations predict the production of 107 electron-positron pairs, per shot, by a laser with peak intensity of just 3×1022 W/cm2. By using only a single laser pulse, the scheme sidesteps the practical difficulties associated with the multiple-laser schemes previously investigated.