QUANTUM FIELD VERSUS EXTERNAL FIELD APPROACHES TO THE BREIT-WHEELER PROCESS
In 1934, Breit and Wheeler published a famous article entitled “Collision of two light quanta”, in which they predicted the production of positron electron pairs as a result of the collision of two light quanta. In that paper , they argued “It is also unnecessary to use quantized light waves in the pair production problem, since the results with quantized waves are known to be identical with those obtained by means of ordinary waves.” For more than 80 years since this work, no one has challenged this statement. In this presentation we report a preliminary finding based on quantum field theory that yields results different from Breit and Wheeler’s original claim. We argue that when intensity of the incoming light fields is sufficiently strong or when interaction time is long, it is necessary to consider the quantum nature of light to accurately describe the Breit-Wheeler process. This work has been supported by the NSF, NSFC and Research Corporation.  G. Breit and John A. Wheeler, Phys. Rev. 46, 1087 (1934).
Hershenhouse, Tyler, "QUANTUM FIELD VERSUS EXTERNAL FIELD APPROACHES TO THE BREIT-WHEELER PROCESS" (2019). University Research Symposium. 321.