In the next two decades, however, a new generation of experiments will explore nature far beyond such mere scattering situations. This is due to recent advances in laser technology, a technology that will allow to probe electrodynamic phenomena in much more controlled environments and may shrink experimental setups like the CERN with a 26 kilometers circumference to the size of laboratory tables. For planning, prediction, and analysis of such experiments, new mathematically rigorous so-called “non-perturbative” methods have to be developed. This, beside foundational questions of quantum electrodynamics, is our primary objective.
The main research topics encompass the controlled creation of a cascade of matter-antimatter (electron-positron) pairs out of the vacuum in view of planned experiments within the European project “Extreme Light Infrastructure” as well as the accurate prediction of radiation-induced friction of accelerated charges which is a crucial ingredient for the near-future wake field accelerator technology.