Europhys. Lett.
Volume 72, Number 6, December 2005
Page(s) 950 - 954
Section Physics of gases, plasmas and electric discharges
Published online 11 November 2005
Europhys. Lett., 72 (6), pp. 950-954 (2005)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2005-10330-9

Quantum electrodynamical shocks and solitons in astrophysical plasmas

M. Marklund1, D. D. Tskhakaya2, 3 and P. K. Shukla1, 4

1  Department of Physics, Umeå University - SE-901 87 Umeå, Sweden
2  Institute of Physics, Georgian Academy of Sciences - 380077 Tbilisi, Georgia
3  Institute of Theoretical Physics, University of Innsbruck - A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria
4  Institut für Theoretische Physik IV, Fakultät für Physik und Astronomie Ruhr-Universität Bochum - D-44780 Bochum, Germany

received 12 July 2005; accepted 16 October 2005
published online 11 November 2005

The nonlinear propagation of low-frequency circularly polarized waves in a magnetized dusty plasma is analyzed. It is found that wave steepening and shock formation can take place due to the presence of nonlinear quantum vacuum effects, thus giving rise to ultra-intense electromagnetic shocks. Moreover, it is shown that solitary-wave structures are admitted even under moderate astrophysical conditions. The results may have applications to astrophysical plasmas, as well as next-generation laser interactions with laboratory plasmas containing dust clusters.

52.35.Mw - Nonlinear phenomena: waves, wave propagation, and other interactions (including parametric effects, mode coupling, ponderomotive effects, etc.).
52.38.-r - Laser-plasma interactions.
52.40.Db - Electromagnetic (nonlaser) radiation interactions with plasma.

© EDP Sciences 2005