Magnetic control of the pair creation in spatially localized supercritical fields

Su, Q. and Su, W. and Lv, Q.Z. and Jiang, M. and Lu, X. and Sheng, Zheng-Ming and Grobe, R. (2012) Magnetic control of the pair creation in spatially localized supercritical fields. Physical Review Letters, 109. ISSN 0031-9007

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    Abstract

    We examine the impact of a perpendicular magnetic field on the creation mechanism of electron-positron pairs in a supercritical static electric field, where both fields are localized along the direction of the electric field. In the case where the spatial extent of the magnetic field exceeds that of the electric field, quantum field theoretical simulations based on the Dirac equation predict a suppression of pair creation even if the electric field is supercritical. Furthermore, an arbitrarily small magnetic field outside the interaction zone can bring the creation process even to a complete halt, if it is sufficiently extended. The mechanism for this magnetically induced complete shutoff can be associated with a reopening of the mass gap and the emergence of electrically dressed Landau levels.