Graduate Student Ramy Aboushelbaya Invited to Address the American Physical Society

10 September 2019

Ramy Aboushelbaya has been invited to address the American Physical Society's Division of Plasma Physics in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in October 2019. Ramy will summarise the pioneering research that he has conducted over the past three years during his DPhil in Atomic and Laser Physics. Photon-photon scattering in vacuum is one of the oldest and most intriguing predictions of quantum electrodynamics, as it would confirm what is called "vacuum polarization" and change our perception of what constitutes the vacuum itself. However, experimental verification of scattering between real photons in vacuum has still not been achieved. This is due, in part, to the relative weakness of this interaction. Ramy has investigated the effect of orbital angular momentum on elastic photon-photon scattering in vacuum for the first time. Ramy has shown that orbital angular momentum adds a signature to the generated photons thereby greatly improving the signal-to-noise ratio. This forms the basis for a proposed high-power laser experiment utilising quantum optics techniques to filter the generated photons based on their orbital angular momentum state. This would allow the detection of these rare scattering events on multi-petawatt systems, thereby finally providing experimental proof for elastic photon-photon scattering in vacuum.