The quantum vacuum models the ground state of nature as a sea of virtual particle pairs. This loaded vacuum is described by quantum field theory, the most fundamental theory for all known field and matter interactions.
The interaction of light with the quantum vacuum gives rise to some of the most fundamental and exotic processes in modern physics which remain largely untested in the laboratory. Experiments demonstrating the predicted processes have only recently become possible thanks to the advent of ultra-intense lasers with up to 10 petawatt (PW) peak power. Seizing this opportunity is the goal of this DFG Research Unit.
Our unified theoretical and experimental effort is beginning to expose the details of nonlinear QED vacuum interactions. The ambitious program of the research unit provides both firm, theoretical predictions and forthcoming experiments of these processes. Our cutting edge research is enabled through combining the most advanced ultra-intense laser technologies with novel, high-purity detection schemes.
Our research group is part of the DFG funded collaboration FOR 2783: Probing the Quantum vacuum.
Experiments are also conducted as a part of the SFQED collbaoration at FACET facility, Stanford Linear Accelerator Lab, USA.