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Proceedings Paper

Spin dynamics in relativistic light-matter interaction
Author(s): Heiko Bauke; Sven Ahrens; Christoph H. Keitel; Rainer Grobe
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Paper Abstract

Various spin effects are expected to become observable in light-matter interaction at relativistic intensities. Relativistic quantum mechanics equipped with a suitable relativistic spin operator forms the theoretical foundation for describing these effects. Various proposals for relativistic spin operators have been offered by different authors, which are presented in a unified way. As a result of the operators’ mathematical properties only the Foldy-Wouthuysen operator and the Pryce operator qualify as possible proper relativistic spin operators. The ground states of highly charged hydrogen-like ions can be utilized to identify a legitimate relativistic spin operator experimentally. Subsequently, the Foldy-Wouthuysen spin operator is employed to study electron-spin precession in high-intensity standing light waves with elliptical polarization. For a correct theoretical description of the predicted electron-spin precession relativistic effects due to the spin angular momentum of the electromagnetic wave has to be taken into account even in the limit of low intensities.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 May 2015
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 9515, Research Using Extreme Light: Entering New Frontiers with Petawatt-Class Lasers II, 95150L (1 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2178191
Show Author Affiliations
Heiko Bauke, Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik (Germany)
Sven Ahrens, Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik (Germany)
Illinois State Univ. (United States)
Christoph H. Keitel, Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik (Germany)
Rainer Grobe, Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik (Germany)
Illinois State Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9515:
Research Using Extreme Light: Entering New Frontiers with Petawatt-Class Lasers II
Georg Korn; Luis O. Silva, Editor(s)

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