In this article, we provide analytical expressions for the photon polarization tensor in pulsed Hermite- and Laguerre-Gaussian laser beams. Our results are based on a locally constant field approximation of the one-loop Heisenberg-Euler effective Lagrangian for quantum electrodynamics. Hence, by construction they are limited to slowly varying electromagnetic fields, varying on spatial and temporal scales significantly larger than the Compton wavelength/time of the electron. The latter criterion is fulfilled by all laser beams currently available in the laboratory. Our findings will, e.g., be relevant for the study of vacuum birefringence experienced by probe photons brought into collision with a high-intensity laser pulse which can be represented as a superposition of either Hermite- or Laguerre-Gaussian modes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)