Ultrafast resonant polarization interferometry: Towards the first direct detection of vacuum polarization

Andre Luiten, J.C. Petersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Vacuum polarization, an effect originally predicted nearly 70 years ago, is still yet to be directly detected despite significant experimental effort. Previous attempts have made use of large liquid-helium cooled electromagnets which inadvertently generate spurious signals that mask the desired signal. We present an approach for the ultrasensitive detection of optical birefringence that can be usefully applied to a laboratory detection of vacuum polarization. The technique has a predicted birefringence measurement sensitivity of Deltansimilar to10(-20) in a 1 s measurement. When combined with the extreme polarizing fields achievable in this design we predict that a vacuum polarization signal will be seen in a measurement of just a few days in duration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)033801-1-033801-9
JournalPhysical Review A
Volume70
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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