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Particles 2019, 2(2), 166-179; https://doi.org/10.3390/particles2020012

Kinetic Approach to Pair Production in Strong Fields—Two Lessons for Applications to Heavy-Ion Collisions

1
Institute of Theoretical Physics, University of Wrocław, 50–204 Wrocław, Poland
2
Bogoliubov Laboratory for Theoretical Physics, JINR Dubna, 141980 Dubna, Russia
3
Department of Theoretical Nuclear Physics, National Research Nuclear University (MEPhI), 115409 Moscow, Russia
4
Helmholtz–Zentrum Dresden–Rossendorf, D-01314 Dresden, Germany
5
Institut für Theoretische Physik, TU Dresden, D-01062 Dresden, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 December 2018 / Revised: 3 March 2019 / Accepted: 18 March 2019 / Published: 1 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nonequilibrium Phenomena in Strongly Correlated Systems)
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Abstract

The kinetic-equation approach to particle production in strong, time-dependent external fields is revisited and three limiting cases are discussed for different field patterns: the Sauter pulse, a harmonic pulse with a Gaussian envelope, and a Poisson-distributed stochastic field. It is shown that for transient subcritical electric fields E ( t ) a finite residual particle number density n ( ) would be absent if the field-dependence of the dynamical phase in the Schwinger source term would be neglected. In this case the distribution function of created particles follows the law f ( t ) E 2 ( t ) . Two lessons for particle production in heavy-ion collisions are derived from this exercise. First: the shorter the (Sauter-type) pulse, the higher the residual density of produced particles. Second: although the Schwinger process in a string-type field produces a non-thermal particle spectrum, a Poissonian distribution of the (fluctuating) strings produces a thermal spectrum with an apparent temperature that coincides with the Hawking–Unruh temperature for the mean value of the string tension. View Full-Text
Keywords: kinetic theory; particle production; Schwinger effect; Zitterbewegung; low density approximation kinetic theory; particle production; Schwinger effect; Zitterbewegung; low density approximation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Blaschke, D.B.; Juchnowski, L.; Otto, A. Kinetic Approach to Pair Production in Strong Fields—Two Lessons for Applications to Heavy-Ion Collisions. Particles 2019, 2, 166-179.

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