Monte Carlo simulation of pair creation using petawatt lasers

Alexander Henderson, Edison Liang, Pablo Yepes, Hui Chen, Scott Wilks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Irradiating high-Z targets such as gold with ultra-intense lasers creates electron-positron pairs. In particular, the positron density in the plasma created by this procedure is higher than that obtained via other laboratory-based methods, with theoretical maximum densities exceeding 1018 cm-3. All of the significantly contributing processes are well-known and hence we can study this phenomenon using Monte Carlo simulation. We focus on the latter part of this procedure, the passage of high-energy electrons through the target creating pairs. In particular, we discuss the usefulness of CERN's GEANT4 Monte Carlo code in simulating this process. Once this code is successfully calibrated, we will use it to perform parameter studies, and design future targets to optimize the positron yield.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-277
Number of pages5
JournalAstrophysics and Space Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Pair plasma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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