Exceeding the Sauter-Schwinger limit of pair production with a quantum gas
Alina M. Pineiro Escalera, Mingwu Lu, Dina Genkina, Ian B. Spielman
We quantum-simulated particle-antiparticle pair production with a bosonic quantum gas in an optical lattice by emulating the requisite 1d Dirac nist-equation and uniform electric field. We emulated field strengths far in excess of Sauter-Schwinger's limit for pair production in quantum electrodynamics, and therefore readily produced particles from "the Dirac vacuum" in quantitative agreement with theory. The observed process is equivalently described by Landau- Zener tunneling familiar in the atomic physics context.