Journal article Open Access
Direct production of electron-positron pairs in two-photon collisions, the Breit-Wheeler process, is one of the basic processes in the universe. However, it has never been directly observed in the laboratory because of the absence of the intense γ -ray sources. Laser-induced synchrotron sources emission may open a way to observe this process. The feasibility of an experimental setup using a MeV photon source is studied in this paper. We compare several γ -ray sources and estimate the expected number of electron-positron pairs and competing processes by using numerical simulations including quantum electrodynamic effects.