Henry Primakoff

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Henry Primakoff (* February 12, 1914 in Odessa, Ukraine; † July 25, 1983 in Philadelphia, United States) was a theoretical physicist who is famous for his discovery of the Primakoff effect.[1]

Primakoff contributed to the understanding of weak interactions, double beta decay, spin waves in ferromagnetism, and the interaction between neutrinos and the atomic nucleus. In his honor is named the Holstein-Primakoff transformation which is designed to treat spin waves as bosonic excitations.

Primakoff was the first Donner Professor of Physics in the University of Pennsylvania. He was married to Mildred Cohn from 1938 until his death in 1983.[2] In 2011 the American Physical Society established the Henry Primakoff Award for Early-Career Particle Physics.[3]


  1. ^ Amado, Ralph D.; Mann, Alfred K. (December 1983). "Henry Primakoff". Physics Today: 72–73. 
  2. ^ Maugh, Thomas H. (2009-10-13). "Mildred Cohn dies at 96; chemist applied physics to problems of biology, earned National Medal of Science". Los Angeles Times. 
  3. ^ Henry Primakoff Award for Early-Career Particle Physics

External links[edit]