Laser-dressed vacuum polarization in a Coulomb field

A. I. Milstein, I. S. Terekhov, U. D. Jentschura, C. H. Keitel
2005 Physical Review A. Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics  
We investigate quantum electrodynamic effects under the influence of an external, time-dependent electromagnetic field, which mediates dynamic modifications of the radiative corrections. Specifically, we consider the quantum electrodynamic vacuum-polarization tensor under the influence of two external background fields: a strong laser field and a nuclear Coulomb field. We calculate the charge and current densities induced by a nuclear Coulomb field in the presence of a laser field. We find the
more » ... orresponding induced scalar and vector potentials. The induced potential, in first-order perturbation theory, leads to a correction to atomic energy levels. The external laser field breaks the rotational symmetry of the system. Consequently, the induced charge density is not spherically symmetric, and the energy correction therefore leads to a "polarized Lamb shift." In particular, the laser generates an additional potential with a quadrupole moment. The corresponding laser-dressed vacuum-polarization potential behaves like 1/r**3 at large distances, unlike the Uehling potential that vanishes exponentially for large r. Our investigation might be useful for other situations where quantum field theoretic phenomena are subjected to external fields of a rather involved structure.
doi:10.1103/physreva.72.052104 fatcat:mqzqnxhs3ncttnmxjmbquqyuke