Photon propagation in slowly varying inhomogeneous electromagnetic fields

Felix Karbstein, Rashid Shaisultanov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Starting from the Heisenberg-Euler effective Lagrangian, we determine the photon current and photon polarization tensor in inhomogeneous, slowly varying electromagnetic fields. To this end, we consider background field configurations varying in both space and time, paying special attention to the tensor structure. As a main result, we obtain compact analytical expressions for the photon polarization tensor in realistic Gaussian laser pulses, as generated in the focal spots of high-intensity lasers. These expressions are of utmost importance for the investigation of quantum vacuum nonlinearities in realistic high-intensity laser experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number085027
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 22 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics

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