H. Gies,
F. Karbstein,
and N. Seegert

New J. Phys.,

**Quantum reflection of photons off spatio-temporal electromagnetic field inhomogeneities**New J. Phys.,

**17**:043060 (April 2015)## Abstract:

We reconsider the recently proposed nonlinear quantum electrodynamics effect of quantum reflection of photons off an inhomogeneous strong-field region. We present new results for strong fields varying both in space and time. While such configurations can give rise to new effects such as frequency mixing, estimated reflection rates based on previous one-dimensional studies are corroborated. On a conceptual level, we critically re-examine the validity regime of the conventional locally-constant-field approximation and identify kinematic configurations which can be treated reliably. Our results further underline the discovery potential of quantum reflection as a new signature of the nonlinearity of the quantum vacuum.