Photon-photon interactions in the Standard Model and beyond - A pure quantum effect as the key to a better understanding of the subatomic world
April 11, 2022
In classical physics, the superposition of light waves resulting in interference is a well-known phenomenon. An interaction of light rays in the sense of a scattering is, however, classically impossible. Conversely, in the subatomic world, which is described by quantum effects, the quantum particles of light – known as photons – do indeed interact with each other. Moreover, photon-photon interactions play a crucial role in the Standard Model of particle physics. A better understanding of this pure quantum effect is the key to gaining important new insights both within the Standard Model as well as beyond it. This photon-photon interaction is the focus of a new research unit at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). Funding for the research unit has just been approved by the German Research Foundation (DFG); the DFG will initially provide roughly 3.5 million Euros over the next four years. The spokesperson of the research unit is Professor Achim Denig, an experimental physicist and the co-spokesperson is Professor Marc Vanderhaeghen, a theoretical physicist, both of whom work at JGU's Institute of Nuclear Physics.
More information is available in the press release.