Radiation emission and its influence on the motion of multi-GeV electrons and positrons incident on a single diamond crystal

K. Kirsebom, U. Mikkelsen, E. Uggerhøj, K. Elsener, S. Ballestrero, P. Sona, S. H. Connell, J. P.F. Sellschop, Z. Z. Vilakazi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


A few years ago the CERN NA-43 collaboration installed an upgraded detector system which allows a detailed analysis of the particle motion before, during and after penetration of a crystal. Also, essentially perfect diamond crystals were produced by the collaborators from Schonland Research Centre. These facts have led to new and very detailed investigations of QED-processes in strong crystalline fields. Along axial directions the radiation emission is enhanced by more than two orders of magnitude. For incidence on a 0.7 mm thick diamond crystal of well-aligned 149 GeV electrons, 35% give rise to a high energy photon peak at ≈120 GeV. For 243 GeV electrons and ≈200 GeV photons, this number decreases to 25% - which may be an indication of quantum suppression. Different measurements of the photon multiplicities show that in most cases positrons and electrons emit equal number of photons. The dramatic radiation emission leads to a strong reduction in transverse energy and all electrons incident within the critical angle are captured to high lying channeling states and exit at channeling angles corresponding to their final energy - a completely new result for negatively charged particles. For the first time, we present an analysis where the photon is used as a `messenger' for the transverse energy of the electron during the formation time and we conclude that the more energetic photons are created closer to the string and emitted in the axial direction - in contrast to earlier calculations using the Dirac equation. The strongly enhanced radiation emission leads to angular cooling for electrons but angular heating for positrons and we show that at higher electron energies the cooling becomes stronger as expected from theory. For electrons, the radiative cooling gives rise to a capture of above-barrier particles into the channeled beam. The total radiative energy loss is shown as not to follow the γ2-law expected from classical electrodynamics, but turns over towards the γ2/3-law as found from a full QED calculation. Detailed comparisons of doughnut formation for e+,e- just before radiation emission and behind the crystal show large differences in equalization - evidence that the hard photons are emitted in the first part of the crystal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-296
Number of pages23
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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