The article entitled "Reflecting petawatt lasers off relativistic plasma mirrors: a realistic path to the Schwinger limit" was selected as the 2021 High Power Laser Science and Engineering Editor-in-Chief Choice Award paper.
This article was authored by Fabien Quéré and Henri Vincenti. Congratulations to all of the associated authors of this work. The paper presents a novel path to considerably increase the intensity of current high-power femtosecond lasers by orders of magnitude and reach intensities close to so called Schwinger limit (of 1029W/cm2) around which they expect an optical breakdown of the quantum vacuum. Achieving such light intensities in the laboratory could have a profound impact on the test of strong-field Quantum Electrodynamics in uncharted regimes, potentially revealing the properties of quantum fields beyond the standard model.
The author Henri Vincenti has recorded an acceptance speech [see embedded video below - link to follow].
About the Editor-in-Chief Choice Award
The Editor-in-Chief Choice Award-winning papers are selected by Editors-in-Chief of High Power Laser Science and Engineering (HPL). The papers are evaluated based on the quality, downloads, citations, and the importance of the work to the field. The winner will be presented a certificate and a bonus of ¥10,000. The award is sponsored by Chinese Laser Press (CLP).