Primakoff contributed to the understanding of weak interactions, double beta decay, spin waves in ferromagnetism, and the interaction between neutrinos and the atomic nucleus. He also developed the Holstein-Primakoff transformation which is designed to treat spin waves as bosonic excitations.
In 1940 he worked at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, subsequently at the Queens College. 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. In 2011 the American Physical Society established the Henry Primakoff Award for Early-Career Particle Physics.
- Amado, Ralph D.; Mann, Alfred K. (December 1983). "Henry Primakoff". Physics Today: 72–73. Bibcode:1983PhT....36l..72A. doi:10.1063/1.2915406.
- 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.
- Henry Primakoff Award for Early-Career Particle Physics
- Henry Primakoff National Academy of Sciences biographical memoirs.
- Henry Primakoff, Array of Contemporary American Physicists, AIP
- publications of primakoff,h - INSPIRE-HEP
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