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Publikationen von
Alexander Blinne

Alle Publikationen des HI Jena


F. Karbstein, A. Blinne, H. Gies, and M. Zepf
Boosting Quantum Vacuum Signatures by Coherent Harmonic Focusing
Physical Review Letters 123, 091802 (2019)

Abstract: We show that coherent harmonic focusing provides an efficient mechanism to boost all-optical signatures of quantum vacuum nonlinearity in the collision of high-intensity laser fields, thereby offering a promising route to their first experimental detection. Assuming two laser pulses of given parameters at our disposal, we demonstrate a substantial increase of the number of signal photons measurable in experiments where one of the pulses undergoes coherent harmonic focusing before it collides with the fundamental-frequency pulse. Imposing a quantitative criterion to discern the signal photons from the background of the driving laser photons and accounting for the finite purity of polarization filtering, we find that signal photons arising from inelastic scattering processes constitute a promising signature. By contrast, quasielastic contributions which are conventionally assumed to form the most prospective signal remain background dominated. Our findings may result in a paradigm shift concerning which photonic signatures of quantum vacuum nonlinearity are accessible in experiment.

A. Blinne, H. Gies, F. Karbstein, C. Kohlfürst, and M. Zepf
Photon-Photon Scattering at the High-Intensity Frontier: Paraxial Beams
Journal of Physics: Conference Series 1206, 012016 (2019)

Abstract: Our goal is to study optical signatures of quantum vacuum nonlinearities in strong macroscopic electromagnetic fields provided by high-intensity laser beams. The vacuum emission scheme is perfectly suited for this task as it naturally distinguishes between incident laser beams, described as classical electromagnetic fields driving the effect, and emitted signal photons encoding the signature of quantum vacuum nonlinearity. Using the Heisenberg-Euler effective action, our approach allows for a reliable study of photonic signatures of QED vacuum nonlinearity in the parameter regimes accessible by all-optical high-intensity laser experiments. To this end, we employ an efficient, flexible numerical algorithm, which allows for a detailed study of the signal photons emerging in the collision of focused paraxial high-intensity laser pulses. Due to the high accuracy of our numerical solutions we predict the total number of signal photons, but also have full access to the signal photons’ characteristics, including their spectrum, propagation directions and polarizations. We discuss setups offering an excellent background-to-noise ratio, thus providing an important step towards the experimental verification of quantum vacuum nonlinearities.

A. Blinne, H. Gies, F. Karbstein, C. Kohlfürst, and M. Zepf
The Vacuum Emission Picture Beyond Paraxial Approximation
Journal of Physics: Conference Series 1206, 012017 (2019)

Abstract: Optical signatures of the effective nonlinear couplings among electromagnetic fields in the quantum vacuum can be conveniently described in terms of stimulated photon emission processes induced by strong classical, space-time dependent electromagnetic fields. Recent studies have adopted this approach to study collisions of Gaussian laser pulses in paraxial approximation. The present study extends these investigations beyond the paraxial approximation by using an efficient numerical solver for the classical input fields. This new numerical code allows for a consistent theoretical description of optical signatures of QED vacuum nonlinearities in generic electromagnetic fields governed by Maxwell’s equations in the vacuum, such as manifestly non-paraxial laser pulses. Our code is based on a locally constant field approximation of the Heisenberg-Euler effective Lagrangian. As this approximation is applicable for essentially all optical high-intensity laser experiments, our code is capable of calculating signal photon emission amplitudes in completely generic input field configurations, limited only by numerical cost.

A. Blinne, S. Kuschel, S. Tietze, and M. Zepf
Efficient retrieval of phase information from real-valued electromagnetic field data
Journal of Computational Physics: X 1, 100019 (2019)

Abstract: While analytic calculations may give access to complex-valued electromagnetic field data which allow trivial access to envelope and phase information, the majority of numeric codes uses a real-valued representation. This typically increases the performance and reduces the memory footprint, albeit at a price: In the real-valued case it is much more difficult to extract envelope and phase information, even more so if counter propagating waves are spatially superposed. A novel method for the analysis of real-valued electromagnetic field data is presented in this paper. We show that, by combining the real-valued electric and magnetic field at a single point in time, we can directly reconstruct the full information of the electromagnetic fields in the form of complex-valued spectral coefficients (k→-space) at a low computational cost of only three Fourier transforms. The method allows for counter propagating plane waves to be accurately distinguished as well as their complex spectral coefficients, i.e. spectral amplitudes and spectral phase to be calculated. From these amplitudes, the complex-valued electromagnetic fields and also the complex-valued vector potential can be calculated from which information about spatiotemporal phase and amplitude is readily available. Additionally, the complex fields allow for efficient vacuum propagation allowing to calculate far field data or boundary input data from near field data. An implementation of the new method is available as part of PostPic1, a data analysis toolkit written in the Python programming language.

A. Blinne, H. Gies, F. Karbstein, C. Kohlfürst, and M. Zepf
All-optical signatures of quantum vacuum nonlinearities in generic laser fields
Physical Review D 99, 016006 (2019)

Abstract: All-optical experiments at the high-intensity frontier offer a promising route to unprecedented precision tests of quantum electrodynamics in strong macroscopic electromagnetic fields. So far, most theoretical studies of all-optical signatures of quantum vacuum nonlinearity are based on simplifying approximations of the beam profiles and pulse shapes of the driving laser fields. Since precision tests require accurate quantitative theoretical predictions, we introduce an efficient numerical tool facilitating the quantitative theoretical study of all-optical signatures of quantum vacuum nonlinearity in generic laser fields. Our approach is based on the vacuum emission picture, and makes use of the fact that the dynamics of the driving laser fields are to an excellent approximation governed by classical Maxwell theory in vacuum. In combination with a Maxwell solver, which self-consistently propagates any given laser field configuration, this allows for accurate theoretical predictions of photonic signatures of vacuum nonlinearity in high-intensity laser experiments from first principles. We employ our method to simulate photonic signatures of quantum vacuum nonlinearity in laser pulse collisions involving a few-cycle pulse, and show that the angular and spectral distributions of the emitted signal photons deviate from those of the driving laser beams.


J. Kirtzel, S. Madhavan, N. Wielsch, A. Blinne, Y. Hupfer, J. Linde, K. Krause, A. Svatoš, and E. Kothe
Enzymatic Bioweathering and Metal Mobilization From Black Slate by the Basidiomycete Schizophyllum commune
Frontiers in microbiology 9, 2545 (2018)

Abstract: Schizophyllum commune is a filamentous basidiomycete causing white-rot in many wood species with the help of a broad range of enzymes including multicopper oxidases such as laccases and laccase-like oxidases. Since these enzymes exhibit a broad substrate range, their ability to oxidatively degrade black slate was investigated. Both haploid monokaryotic, and mated dikaryotic strains were able to grow on black slate rich in organic carbon as sole carbon source. On defined media, only the monokaryon showed growth promotion by addition of slate. At the same time, metals were released from the slate and, after reaching a threshold concentration, inhibited further growth of the fungus. The proteome during decomposition of the black slate showed induction of proteins potentially involved in rock degradation and stress resistance, and the gene for laccase-like oxidase mco2 was up-regulated. Specifically in the dikaryon, the laccase gene lcc1 was induced, while lcc2 as well as mco1, mco3, and mco4 expression levels remained similar. Spectrophotometric analysis revealed that both life forms were able to degrade the rock and produce smaller particles.

A. Blinne, D. Schinkel, S. Kuschel, N. Elkina, S. G. Rykovanov, and M. Zepf
A systematic approach to numerical dispersion in Maxwell solvers
Computer Physics Communications 224, 273 (2018)

Abstract: The finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method is a well established method for solving the time evolution of Maxwell’s equations. Unfortunately the scheme introduces numerical dispersion and therefore phase and group velocities which deviate from the correct values. The solution to Maxwell’s equations in more than one dimension results in non-physical predictions such as numerical dispersion or numerical Cherenkov radiation emitted by a relativistic electron beam propagating in vacuum. Improved solvers, which keep the staggered Yee-type grid for electric and magnetic fields, generally modify the spatial derivative operator in the Maxwell–Faraday equation by increasing the computational stencil. These modified solvers can be characterized by different sets of coefficients, leading to different dispersion properties. In this work we introduce a norm function to rewrite the choice of coefficients into a minimization problem. We solve this problem numerically and show that the minimization procedure leads to phase and group velocities that are considerably closer to c as compared to schemes with manually set coefficients available in the literature. Depending on a specific problem at hand (e.g. electron beam propagation in plasma, high-order harmonic generation from plasma surfaces, etc.), the norm function can be chosen accordingly, for example, to minimize the numerical dispersion in a certain given propagation direction. Particle-in-cell simulations of an electron beam propagating in vacuum using our solver are provided.