5
$\begingroup$

People have been thinking about a photon-photon collider (see this and this) as an add-on or to supplement the ILC, the next generation linear collider.

My question is, have there been any photon-photon colliders running in the past*, including those running below the $e^+ e^-$ threshold to study non-linear effects in photon scattering?

*Virtual/Weissäcker-Williams/Equivalent photon-photon colliders don't count.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ It might just be me who is not a lets say a proffessor, but aren't photons massless, and therefore do not interact with each other? What would be the point of such a colider? $\endgroup$ – Jakob May 12 '14 at 22:08
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Photons interact with each other through higher order effects, where the photons will pair produce $e^+e^-$ pairs, and then those annihilate into new photons. $\endgroup$ – webb May 12 '14 at 22:49
  • $\begingroup$ Related but not a duplicate: Inverse pair production w/hohlaraum as photon target - is this experiment going to be carried out? $\endgroup$ – uhoh Apr 5 '18 at 4:50
1
+50
$\begingroup$

It was done at SLAC in 1996. See Positron Production in Multiphoton Light-by-Light Scattering. The paper was in Physics Review Letters.

For some background reading, there’s plenty of arXiv papers with photon-photon interaction in the title. Also see Kirk McDonald's website for a wealth of information. He's a SLAC guy. For example, check out the 1998 PhysicsToday article gamma rays create matter just by plowing into laser light.

The photon-photon collisions weren't as "pure" as what the Imperial physicists are trying to do, but it was still gamma-gamma pair production.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.