Theory Seminar (High Energy/Cosmology)

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Axion assisted Schwinger effect
Date: Wednesday, March 29th
Time: 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Place: 5280 Chamberlin
Speaker: Yohei Ema, University of Minnesota
Abstract: Particle production in strong electromagnetic fields, the Schwinger effect, is a recurring theme in solid state physics, heavy ion collisions, early universe cosmology and formal quantum field theory. In this talk, after reviewing the standard Schwinger effect, we show that the pair production rate of charged fermions in a strong electric field is enhanced in the presence of time dependent classical axion-like background field, which we call axion assisted Schwinger effect. While the standard Schwinger production rate is proportional to $\exp(−\pi(m^2+p^2_T)/E)$, with $m$ and $p_T$ denoting the fermion mass and its momentum transverse to the electric field $E$, the axion assisted Schwinger effect can be enhanced at large momenta to $\exp(−\pi m^2/E)$. We interpret the origin of this enhancement as a coupling between the fermion spin and its momentum, induced by the axion velocity.
Host: George Wojcik
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