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Bending of light in a Coulomb Gas

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posted on 2023-11-30, 17:43 authored by Taekoon Lee
Photons traveling in a background electromagnetic field may bend via the vacuum polarization effect with the background field. The bending in a Coulomb field by a heavy nucleus is small even at a large atomic number, rendering it difficult to detect experimentally. As an amplifying mechanism of the effect we consider the bending of light traveling in a chamber of Coulomb gas. The Gaussian nature of the bending in the gas increases the total bending angle in proportion to the square root of the photon travel distance. The enhancement can be orders of magnitude over the bending by a single nucleus at a small impact parameter, which may help experimental observation of the Coulombic bending.

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