The two center time dependent Dirac equation, for an electron in the external field of two colliding ultrarelativistic heavy ions is considered. In the ultrarelativistic limit, the ions are practically moving at the speed of light and the electromagnetic fields of the ions are confined to the light fronts by the extreme Lorentz contraction and by the choice of gauge, designed to remove the long-range Coulomb effects. An exact solution to the ultrarelativistic limit of the two-center Dirac equation is found by using light-front variables and a light-fronts representation. Previously unexplained experimental results obtained at CERN's SPS are explained in this way and predictions are made as to where one should look, in momentum space, and in space-time, if one wants to study and observe non-perturbative electromagnetic pair-production effects in extremely relativistic heavy-ion collisions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (all)