results for au:Knudsen_H in:hep-ex
Radiation reaction is the influence of the electromagnetic field emitted by a charged particle on the dynamics of the particle itself. Here we report experimental radiation emission spectra from ultrarelativistic positrons in silicon in a regime where both quantum and radiation-reaction effects dominate the dynamics of the positrons. We found that each positron emits multiple photons with energy comparable to its own energy, revealing the importance of quantum photon recoil. Moreover, the shape of the emission spectra indicates that photon emissions occur in a nonlinear regime where positrons absorb several quanta from the crystal field. Our theoretical analysis shows that only a full quantum theory of radiation reaction is capable of explaining the experimental results, with radiation-reaction effects arising from the recoils undergone by the positrons during multiple photon emissions. This experiment is the first fundamental test of quantum electrodynamics in a new regime where the dynamics of charged particles is determined not only by the external electromagnetic fields but also by the radiation-field generated by the charges themselves. Future experiments carried out in the same line will be able to, in principle, also shed light on the fundamental question about the structure of the electromagnetic field close to elementary charges.
In the CERN NA63 collaboration we have addressed the question of the potential inadequacy of the commonly used Migdal formulation of the Landau-Pomeranchuk-Migdal (LPM) effect by measuring the photon emission by 20 and 178 GeV electrons in the range 100 MeV - 4 GeV, in targets of LowDensityPolyEthylene (LDPE), C, Al, Ti, Fe, Cu, Mo and, as a reference target, Ta. For each target and energy, a comparison between simulated values based on the LPM suppression of incoherent bremsstrahlung is shown, taking multi-photon effects into account. For these targets and energies, we find that Migdal's theoretical formulation is adequate to a precision of better than about 5%, irrespective of the target substance.
The classical description of synchrotron radiation fails at large Lorentz factors, $\gamma$, for relativistic electrons crossing strong transverse magnetic fields $B$. In the rest frame of the electron this field is comparable to the so-called critical field $B_0 = 4.414\cdot10^9$ T. For $\chi = \gamma B/B_0 \simeq 1$ quantum corrections are essential for the description of synchrotron radiation to conserve energy. With electrons of energies 10-150 GeV penetrating a germanium single crystal along the $<110>$ axis, we have experimentally investigated the transition from the regime where classical synchrotron radiation is an adequate description, to the regime where the emission drastically changes character; not only in magnitude, but also in spectral shape. The spectrum can only be described by quantum synchrotron radiation formulas. Apart from being a test of strong-field quantum electrodynamics, the experimental results are also relevant for the design of future linear colliders where beamstrahlung - a closely related process - may limit the achievable luminosity.